a I E) RA FLY
U N IVLRSITY
^ \^. ^\K
PniNTEI* BY S. AND R. BENTI/EY,
Dorset Street, Fleet Street.
A TALE OF 1798.
THE AUTHORS OF
"THE O'HARA TALES," "THE NOWLANS,"
AND "THE BOYNE WATER."
The uncivil kernes of Ireland are in arms.
SECOND PAST OF KING HENBT VI.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
HENRY COLBURN, NEW BURLINGTON STREET.
33 line 2, for Kane, read Kane's.
75 — 14, for torturer's, read torturers.
148 — '2; for yielding, read trembling.
206 — 10, for last read fair.
261 — 19, /or pulled read pull.
265 lines 7 and 8, supply a comma after however, and dele the comma after
315 line 19,/or him, read you.
A TALE OF 1798.
While some of the meaner of the enlarged
captives flung up their hats and mingled with
their liberators, and while others of more con-
sideration were hailed with frantic greetings,
and clamorously appointed to the dignity of
leaders. Sir William, after the first effusion of
his own wild joy, seemed to become equally in-
sensible to the yells that still pealed around him,
and to the furious action by which, exuberant at
all times as is the impassioned gesticulation of
the Irish peasant, the victors manifested their
sense of continued success.
Having crossed the threshold of his prison,
he stood aside, his back leaning against its wall,
VOL. in. B
a moody and uninterested man amidst the ex-
ultation of thousands, and solely self-occupied
in endeavouring to shape out some course by
which his enfranchisement might be made ser-
viceable to his private views. Hasty accounts,
interchanged between his late fellow-prisoners
and their liberators, of yesterday's proceedings;
rapid allusions to the state of the town, to the
sudden flight of its garrison, and some of its
inhabitants, towards Ross, and of others towards
the ships in the harbour ; all this was lost upon
his ear. One only sentence, uttered by a friend-
ly citizen, raised his attention. The man spoke
of Sir Thomas Hartley's death, and went on to
mention that, in the course of the day, his car-
riage had arrived in Wexford, strongly guarded
by a body of yeomen, and that, at the door of
a particular house, a lady, closely veiled and
cloaked, had descended from it. Sir Wilham
sprang to the speaker, seized his arm, pulled
him to himself, learned the name of the pro-
prietor of the house spoken of, and then, no
longer inactive, he pushed through the throng,
one sole object engaging his mind.
To the wild confusion around he still remain-
ed indifferent. If, during his furious progress
through the obstructed streets, a door was bat-
tered in, and a faint shriek succeeded to the
THE CBOPPY. S
crash, he heard or regarded it not. Nay, when
a miserable fugitive, winged by the fear of a
shocking death, had gained some advance of his
pursuers, flung himself at Sir WiUiam's feet,
and with upturned features of supplicating de-
spair, and burning, starting eyes, piteously
claimed his protection — he but stopped to un-
loose from his knees the wretch's grasping
hands — to hurl him to his executioners, mut-
tering — '^Talbot, were it you?" — and tlien he
pursued his way.
But a more serious incident, in which, merely
to break down impediments to his own business,
he was obliged to bear a part, caused farther
interruption to his career.
The Insurgents had stipulated that Hfe and
property should be spared, provided the arms,
ammunition, and accoutrements of the garrison,
were left behind. But the garrison abandoned
the town — so precipitately as, in many instances,
to abandon, at the same time, their wives and
children — before even the return, from the be-
siegers, of their own envoys ; and consequently
they did not comply with terms which they
would not tarry to learn. The invading throng,
disappointed of the expected spoils, which,
above all others, they valued, pronounced, as
4) THE CROPPY.
impetuously as their foes had fled before them,
that faith was broken towards the Wexford
army of Hberty ; and the black passions of the
multitude, that in a degree had been tamed
by the pride of conscious predominance, and
by exhortations from the leaders to uphold,
in its dignity, the high character of conquerors,
began, like the first tossing of the waters be-
neath the scourge of the tempest, to lash each
other with a fury which threatened fearful re-
A street, through which Sir William must
necessarily pass, w^as densely blocked up by
the greater number of the wrathful concourse;
and, as he joined their outskirts, they had just
evinced omens of this dangerous mood, when
three or four leaders, headed by Father Ge-
neral Rourke, springing into laudable energy,
called on him to assist in allaying the rising
gust, that they well knew, if once fully let
loose, it would be as difficult to conciliate as
the matured violence of the ocean-rage, to
which we have likened its symptoms.
Chiefly for the purpose of scattering the
throng, through whose wedged array he could
not hope to penetrate, Sir William answered
the claim made upon him, and followed Rourke
into the midst of the howling people, exerting
THE CROPPr. O
himself, as all the other leaders did, to produce
the much-desired result ; but by none of their
commanders were the multitude ^o effectually
swayed as by the clerical captain, as, with the
accost of rude, authoritative intrepidity, he rode
boldly amongst them — sparing, when advice
and explanation failed, neither spiritual ana-
thema, nor more substantial blows; all quailed
beneath his voice or arm : and Wexford, on
the point of destruction, was saved. After-
wards, indeed, some houses, deserted, closed up,
and therefore showing a face of inhospitality,
were broken open and pillaged ; and also some
belonging to persons who had been marked down
as notorious enemies to the Insurgent cause.
A few lives were sacrificed too to individual hate
or ferocity, which nothing could control ; but,
although upon every side reigned utter turbu
lence, injury to property or life was partial,
and by no means ensued to the extent that
might be feared from a host of revengeful men,
masters over all, and armed with the full
power to do mischief. And here, let us add
a fact, which, in the estimation of every candid
inquirer into human nature, must throw a re-
deeming ray of grace around the blackest crimes
perpetrated in hasty vengeance by the Irish
Insurgents of 1798. During their moments of
O THE CROPPY.
maddest licentiousness, neither in the town or
county of Wexford, nor in any other town or
county over which insurrection spread its blaze,
occasionally destroying as it listed, was female
honour once outraged ; or, excepting a single
peculiar and fearful instance, female blood shed !
But, after Sir William's escape through the
dispersing throng, the house to which he forced
his way, proved to be one of those marked out
for destruction, as belonging to a yeoman cap-
tain, who had been distinguished for '* ac-
tivity," as it was called, '' previous to the ris-
ing." And, to add to his fears at this intelli-
gence, he farther learned, ere he could scramble
past the threshold, that, surely anticipating the
fate which awaited him, its proprietor, like the
innkeeper at Enniscorthy, had fled from Wex-
ford before the arrival of the Insurgents, and
left all the females of his family to the mercy
of those he most dreaded.
" An' they Ve before you, in the house, if you
want 'em, Ginerel," added his informant.
Through an astounding jumble of crash and
vociferation in the lower part of the house. Sir
William sprang up-stairs, and burst his way
into the principal room. Here was but a con-
tinuation of the scene he had escaped from
THE CHOPPY. 7
below. Windows were shattered, and furni-
ture was dashed to pieces and flung out through
them into the street ; and mingled with the
shout of fury came the shout of merriment :
the wildest act of destruction, in accordance
with the hidden character of the Irish peasant,
often producing the heartiest laugh : — hidden
we have called that character, and it is so ; —
its minor traits, indeed, such as appear, or are
put forward, in every-day intercourse, any one
may catch ; but owing to a long habit of ab-
straction, or rather banishment from all inter-
change of social thought or feeling with those
ranking above him, the real moral elements
that form every kind of character — the spring-
ings of the heart, and the mental combinations,
no matter how rude, which end in impulse —
those secrets of his inner heart, the Irish pea-
sant keeps concealed to the present hour, as
well from the oppressors he hates, as from tlie
friends who, if they knew him better, could
better serve him.
Sir William's eye lighted on a man he had
before seen in almost a similar situation. It
was no other than the individual who had sold
him his own miniature and his bride's gloves and
wedding-ring, in the inn at Enniscorthy ; and still
this person seemed to be the presiding genius of
discovery in the work of pillage With a heavy
hammer he battered at a chest of drawers ; and
ere, one by one, he tossed out the contents of
each drawer to his crowding followers, he might
be observed to run his own hand, with much
stealthy dexterity, through the valuable ar-
ticles, and sometimes to steal it, unseen, to his
" Sparables for the cratures o** women, boys !"
he said, emptying a drawer-full of elegant
finery upon the floor; there was a laughing
strife for shares of the prize, and then the draw-
er was shivered to pieces, and cast into the street.
" An"* here — the poor Capt'n makes shirts for
Croppies, boys," flinging down another, stuffed
with the useful matters he had mentioned.
Sir William darted upon him, and clutched
" Asy, now, asy, neighbour V cried the
" How have you disposed of the ladies of
this house, rascal ?"
** Pike the life out o' the Orangeman !" was
the cry around, as the crowd deemed they saw
their temporary leader violently assaulted by an
THE CROPPY. y
^* I 'm not Orange, friends — I fought for you
at Enniscorthy," said Sir William.
" Hould off — hould off! — his honour spakes
the truth," expostulated the man. '' Many 's
the one I hard say id — an' I know him to-day
though I didn't know him yestherday."
The appeal produced peace, and the speaker
resumed, quietly turning to his captor, who still
held him secure — '^ An' is id about the poor
ladies your honour is axin ?"
'^ Yes, yes ! Where are they ? — Safe — safe
— or I will shoot you where you stand '''
" Oh, then, if that 's all, safe enough they
are ; — only they were runnin' here an' there ;
an' just to keep 'em out o'harum, I Ve put 'em
snug an' cozy into one crib together."
" What do you mean, fellow ? — Explain, this
'^ Asy, now, your honour ; don't be too frap-
tious, all out, wid a body ; — you were free
enough in Enniscorthy, wid your mokuses,
only for a lady's glove, an' a lady's ring ; an'
will you give nothin' at all to the boy that
maybe 'ill help you to the weeny hand, an' the
weeny finger, that wears the both ?"
Sir WiUiam almost emptied his purse into
the horny palm of the mercenary knight, — add-
10 THE CRorrr.
iiig, that if he found himself trifled with, he
would take signal vengeance.
" Oh, never fear ; we '11 gi"* you pick an'
choose of all in the house, at laste : come,
your honour, I ''ll bring you to the very dour
o' the cage."
" Lead on. Sir, I '11 follow you — ay, to tlie
world's end, if you deceive me."
" Well, your honour, sure it'll only be ketch
him who can, betuxt us.""
But Sir WilUam's doubts were unnecessary :
bis guide had stated but the facts. Having
ascertained, with yells of baffled revenge, the
timely flight of the yeoman captain, the Insur-
gents, only venting their rage upon his property,
had driven the ladies of the house into a garret
room, and while the work of plunder and de-
vastation went on below, there locked them in,
unmolested at their hands, save by the party
execrations which they would have lavished upon
Saint Bridget, or any other female saint in the
calendar, if she or any one of them were an
The man unlocked and flung the door open,
and with a giggling laugh hastily returned to
a scene of more interest. Sir William saw
four females in the room, who, at his appear-
THE CROPPY. 11
ance, started from trembling terror into horrid
despair : his eye scanned the group ; one
seemed the iady of the house ; two others, her
daughters ; and the fourth was not his wife, but,
strange enough to relate, Miss Alicia Hartley.
The palHd faces, the clasped hands, the
humbled postures, and the beseeching eyes of
the three first-mentioned ladies, conveyed no
meaning to Sir WilHam Judkin. His wife did
not appear — he comprehended nothing else.
As he stood motionless at the door, Miss
Alicia, seated on the floor, at one side, and
supporting her back against the wall, seemingly
in an exhausted state, slowly recognized him
and pronounced his name. He sprang to her.
*^ Where is our Eliza, dear madam ? — where
is she ?" growing impatient of the old lady's
tearful silence, as he knelt before her.
" Oh, Sir William !" answered the feeble
Miss Alicia, '* I wish I could inform you !'^
^* And you cannot, madam !"
^' Alas! no ; — if I could — kneeling, as you do,
before me, so like one now no more ''
' ' Absurd, madam ! — surely this at least you can
answer — where did you part from her ? — when.?'*
*^ I have not seen my poor child since about
ten o'clock yester evening."
12 THE CROPPY,
*^ Eternal powers !" Sir William sprang to
his feet. '^ How ? — where ? — in what manner
were you separated ?— and could you leave her
side, Miss Alicia Hartley ? could you leave her
unprotected ? — you must account with me,
madam, why you have done this !" — his eyes
turned in rage even upon the helpless object
stretched beneath them.
^' Heaven can witness," answered the trem-
bling old lady, in bitter anguish, '* I am suf-
ficiently wretched, without the additional mi-
sery of your anger, Sir William : it is not ne-
cessary, indeed it is not, to overwhelm me.
Grant me fortitude, O my God ! to bear my
sufferings as a Christian should !"
" But your answer, madam !''
" I will, I will. Sir William — do not look
so fiercely on me, and I will answer you ; as
well, at least, as my shattered and distracted
recollection enables me : — and oh ! dismal, bleak,
and pitiful, are now my recollections of all the
past. Oh, my poor brother ! — oh, Thomas,
Thomas ! — The Lord strengthen me ! the Lord
pity me !"*' and she relapsed into a feeble
paroxysm of weeping, from which Sir William
at last refrained to rouse her.
"But fina'ily, in broken words, half of sorrow-
THE CROPPY. 13
ful ejaculation, and of continued prayers to
Heaven for the strength she was but too con-
scious of not possessing, Miss Alicia began
to recount the occurrences of the previous
Some time after she and her niece arrived
in Enniscorthy, they were weeping together,
and starting at every sound, in expectation of
the arrival of a messenger dispatched to gather
tidings of the proceedings at the castle, when
a tall woman entered the apartment.
" A tall woman, madam I — did you remark
" No ; they were either hidden from me,
or else my dim eyes could not observe them
at the distance at which she stood.""
'' Well, madam r
^^ This unannounced visitant requested a
private interview with Miss Hartley, who
seemed willing to grant it, and I was excluded
from their conference. They spoke together
a considerable time. At her departure I found
our Eliza much agitated by some new feelings ;
she told me that the woman had been the
bearer of a letter from her father."
" From her father, Miss AUcia .?"
^^ Alas ! yes ; — and though, at the moment,
14 THE CROPPY.
this allayed my doubts and fears, I have since
but too truly become aware that the alleged
letter must have been a forgery ; for scarce
did I arrive in this house, when the people in-
formed me that, at the time it was said to have
been written, my poor brother was — was not
alive ta write it."
Sir William underwent the test of a fresh fit
'^ The woman also pretended to bear to my
dear child a letter from you, Sir WiUiam."
*^ Great powers, madam !"
*^ Though I need not ask you if this, too, was
not a base forgery."
'' I certainly did send her a note, madam,
but as certainly not by such a messenger ; the
keeper of Enniscorthy prison promised, for a
bribe, to forward it"
^' Well, this note came to our Eliza's hand —
if, indeed, it was the same you sent — "
'^ Mine was written with a pencil."
^^ And so was this, for I read it."
The old lady continued to say that the con-
tents of the other letter were withheld from her
by Eliza ; that, some time after, overcome by
grief and feebleness, she sank into a slumber.
THE CROPPY. 15
upon awaking from which, her niece did not
appear, nor had Miss Alicia since heard of
With respect to her own appearance in Wex-
ford, she proceeded to say, that, after a night
spent in vain inquiries and laments, the person
to whom she ascribed all her misfortunes abrupt-
ly presented himself before her ; that, not able
to speak her fear or horror of him, she fainted
away; that, regaining her senses, she found
herself in the family carriage, rapidly driven
along, she knew not whither, and closely guard-
ed by yeomen ; that, entering Wexford, the
vehicle stopped at the door of the house in
which she at present was ; that the gentleman
and lady of the house received her kindly, as a
charge they had expected ; that, immediately on
her arrival amongst them, she had been compelled
to take to her bed ; whence, an hour ago, the
invasion of the cruel rebels rendered her up-
rise a matter of necessity.
No farther information could Sir William ob-
tain from the shocked and enfeebled old lady ;
but this, though not enough in one sense, was
too much in another. If he had previously en-
tertained any doubt as to the present position
16 THE c:roppv.
of his bride, he now became at least certahi
that she must be sought only at the hands of
Indifferent to Miss Alicia's feeble cries for
protection, he rushed out of the house, into the
still crowded and uproarious street ; he be-
came conscious of a confused stupor of brain,
and his first wish was to shun the riot and the
throngs around him, and escape for a moment
to some silent spot, where, flinging himself on
the earth, in the open, free air, his mind might
grow cool enough to arm him with deliberate
thought and purpose.
As yet, while he boldly pushed through all
the obstruction in the crowded streets, he only
felt a return, in increased force, of the impulse
before felt, to seek out Talbot in the very face
of peril and death, clutch him by the throat,
demand his wife, and then — kill him, and tread
upon him. Nor did this seem difficult to the
feverish mind of the young Baronet. He would
be more cunning and wary than he had before
been. He would disguise his features ; he
would assume a yeoman's uniform — thus he
might easily gain access to Talbot's haunts —
and, once found — touched — he would dras him
into some private place, and then — he actually
THE CROPPY. 17
bounded at his own fancied picture of the en-
Absorbed by the greedy longing for his re-
venge, he continued to hurry on, when some
one caught him by the arm. Fiercely turning
to resent the interruption, he recognized Father
Rourke. The face of the reverend warrior,
except where perspiration had forced a distinct
way, was fearfully blotched and stained ; his
lips were parched ; his voice sounded hoarse
and exhausted, and altogether he appeared as a
man who had undergone extreme toil, but yet
whose constitution would not yield to toil of the
*' AVhither so fast, my young soldier ?"
" You know already. Sir ! — to seek out a
traitor-villain, Talbot ! to seek and find him,
if he be on the surface of the earth T' — and it
seemed, as if by this desperate expression of
his purpose, or rather of his impulse, he had
fixed himself in his wild resolve.
^^ You have not yet got back the poor little
wife from him, then ?"
Sir William grinned and stamped his reply.
*^ Well ; suppose I can direct you where to
meet him at least ?"
" Is he in the town ! — secured !"
18 THE CROPPY.
^'No; yet in tlie hands of those who will
make him answer your questions : for, if my eye
did not deceive me, I saw him, upon our way to
Wexford, taken prisoner, at the head of a small
number of his poor yeomen, and marched to our
stationary camp on Vinegar Hill/"'
'^ You are sure, Sir ?"
^' Not downright positive, so as to make oath
of the thing ; but the prisoner certainly was a
yeoman officer, in the uniform of his corps, and
Talbot it appeared to me."
'' Bless you, bless you, good friend ! I will
set off after him this moment."
*^ Had you not better take some rest and re-
freshment, before you go ?^'
" Rest and refreshment ! with this before me
to do.? — Where shall I find a horse, Father
" By the life, man, as I tould you before, I
am General Rourke now."
*^ Well — General Rourke — but can you assist
me to a horse ?"
*^ Why, yes, I think I can ; or sure you may
easily assist yourself: few stables in Wexford
but are open to your pick and choose, I believe."
" Good-day, then — "
" Oh, a good-day to you, lad," replied the
THE CROPPY. 19
clerical hero, gazing in some wonder after Sir
William, as, at the hint of his honest friend,
he proceeded to possess himself of a steed by
means which, under other circumstances, might
have been termed horse-stealing. — '^ A pair of
bright eyes for your paathriotism, after all !"
continued General Rourke.
20 THE CaOPPY.
What Father Rourke has just said, as well
as some former remarks we have ourselves
made, will lead the reader to expect the follow-
After the great mass of the Insurgents aban-
doned their position on Vinegar Hill, in advance
upon Wexford — which, as we have seen, was
yielded to them without a struggle — still a con-
siderable number, attached to their cause, re-
mained on the rocky eminence, ostensibly as a
garrison to guard the conquered town below,
but really to shun the chance of open fighting,
or else to gratify a malignant nature. We
might indeed say, that all who acted upon
either of the motives mentioned, were influ-
enced by both. For it is generally true, that
the bravest man is the least cruel, the coward
most so ; that he who hesitates not to expose
THE CROPFY. 21
himself in a fair fiekl, yet will hesitate to take
life treacherously, coolly, or at a dispropor-
tioned advantage over his opponent ; while the
boastful craven, who shrinks from following in
his footsteps, glories to show a common zeal in
the same cause, by imbruing his hands in the
blood of the already conquered, of the weak,
or of the defenceless.
And, apart from the new recruits that con-
tinued to come in to the popular place of rendez-
vous, the majority of the executioners and
butchers of Vinegar Hill were, according to
the accounts of living chroniclers on both sides
of the question, individuals of the kind last
hinted at. Amongst these, indeed, mingled
some who, if peculiar outrage had not tempo-
rarily roused their revenge to a maddening
thirst for blood, might never have brutalized
themselves, and shamed the nature they bore,
by participation in such deeds as were done
upon the breezy summit of that fatal hill ; but
still they were outnumbered by their brethren
of a drfferent character ; men, demons rather,
to be found in all communities, whose natural
disposition was murderous, and who, but for
the coward fear of retributive justice, would
22 THE CROPPY.
spill blood upon the very hearthstone of house-
hold peace. Alas for our boasted nature, when
such beings share it !
At the head of the main force, all the prin-
cipal or more respectable leaders had neces-
sarily taken their departure from " the camp ;"
yet some persons, also called leaders, remained
in nominal command over the skulking mob
we have described ; themselves scarce raised
above the scum and dregs who, for a recognized
similarity and aptness of character, rather than
for any real merit, chose them as their "capt'ns."
And by these men were conducted or des-
patched, during the previous night and day,
different bands, in different directions, to seize
on provisions, to diive in cattle and sheep, and
to lead captive to the rendezvous all whom they
might deem enemies to the cause of what was
now pompously styled — little Peter Rooney's
heart jumping at the sound — " The Waxford
Army of Liberty/'
Accordingly, sheep, cows, oxen, and Orange-
men, or supposed Orangemen, had, previous
to Sir William Judkin's approach to the hill,
been abundantly provided for the satiation
of the only two cravings felt by their feroci-
ous captors : such of the former as could not
THE CROPPY. 23
immediately be devoured, being suffered to
ramble among the rocks and patches of parch-
ed grass on the side of the eminence, until
hunger again called for a meal ; and such of
the latter as, from whim or fatigue, were not
summarily despatched, being thrust into a
prison; — a singular one— until revenge, or
common murder, again roared for its victims.
On the summit of the height stood a roof-
less, round building, originally intended for a
windmill, but never perfected, because, perhaps,
in the middle of the projector's work, it became
tardily evident to him, that the river at his
feet supplied a better impetus for grinding
corn than was to be gained from the fitful
breeze, after mounting up the side of the steep
hill. In Ireland such buildings rarely occur,
inasmuch as, almost in every district, the river
or the rill invites the erection of the more dili-
gent water-wheel ; and, indeed, we have heard
that the half-finished pile in question was the
first thought of an English settler, accustomed
to such structures in his own country, and sub-
sequently abandoned for the reasons already
But, at the time of our story, this roofless
round tower, about seven paces in diameter,
24 THE CROPPY.
and perhaps twenty-five feet in height, was
appropriated to a use very different from that
for which it had been planned; — it served, in
fact, as a temporary prison for the unfortunate
persons captured by the marauding garrison of
Vinegar-Hill ; and many were the victims thrust
through its narrow doorway to meet a horrid
death on the pikes of the savages abroad.
Never, before or since, in Ireland, did the
summer sun dart fiercer rays than, as if in sym-
pathy with the passions and acts it witnessed,
during the hot struggle of civil war in the year
1798. And as Sir William Judkin spurred his
jaded, smoking horse towards the eminence,
beast and rider seemed faint with heat and
It may be asserted, that a bridegroom elect,
if young, love-stricken, and of an ardent nature,
will sleep little upon the eve of his wed-
ding-day ; that a thousand sweet thoughts —
but this is not the time farther to image forth
the delightful visions which may chase sleep
from his pillow. If the anticipations of bliss
prove enemies to repose, the furious working
of strong passions— of disappointed love — de-
vouring rage — and drouthy vengeance, will
more surely cause nature to spurn at the
THE CROPPY. 25
thought of slumber. And these assertions
being true, it hence appears, that for the last
three nights, and up to the evening of the
present day, Sir William could have enjoyed
no rest. For, supposing him kept waking by
happiness upon the first night of the three ;
recollecting that he passed the next partly in
Enniscorthy Castle, partly in his visit to Hart-
ley Court, and partly in his wild career back
again to Enniscorthy, until his rencounter with
Father Rourke ; and the next in Wexford
prison, after a day not idly wrought through
amid the flames, and smoke, and blood of the
conquered town, as well as amid an uninter-
rupted paroxysm of private passion, which
gained its climax, when, by the hand of the
very loathed rival he sought to trample down,
he was himself foiled and made a captive ;
and when, in the foamings of his rao-e and
despair, repose mast have been impossible; —
supposing and recollecting all this, the young
Baronet, as with haggard cheeks, with reeking
and dust-stained brows, and with fierce, blood-
shot eyes, he now strained up the difficult
ascent of Vinegar Hill, must have shown the
faintness visible in feature and limb, even from
a want of " Tired Nature's sweet restorer, balmy
VOL. HI. c
S6 THE CROPPY.
sleep ;''' if, indeed, there were no other causes
to produce it.
And yet nature was not quite exhausted in
him, but rather, in obedience to the stern
mandate of his will, summoned his strength
for a last effort.
His horse, although stretching every muscle
at the goad of his bloody spur, could but creep
with distended nostril and bursting eye against
the steep and rock-encumbered acclivity : and,
impatient of the animal's tardy progress. Sir
William sprang, with an imprecation, from his
back, and pushed upward ; sobbing, indeed, and
drenched in perspiration at every step, yet with
a constancy and a nerve scarce to be accounted
for, unless we say that his heated brain gave
him such a stimulus as often imparts incredible
strength to the confirmed maniac. He gained
a view of the old windmill-tower. Upon its top
was hoisted a rude flag of sun-faded green, on
which, in clumsy white letters, had been in-
scribed " Liberty or Death,"*' — and, had the
breeze been brisk enough to float the banner to
its full extent, all the words would have met
the eye. But the summer-breeze, as if dis-
gusted from its agency, had fled the summit of
Vinegar Hill, leaving that baleful flag to droop
THE CROPPV. 27
over the scene beneath it, until within its heavy
folds the word " Liberty"' became hidden, and
" Death" alone was visible.
His banner it might indeed well appear to
be — drooping, in appropriate listlessness, as it
exhibited the name of the fell destroyer above
the havoc he had made. — For, just below the
base of the tower, the rocks and the burnt grass
were reddened, and lifeless bodies, frightfully
gashed, lay here and there amongst them,
some fully to be seen, others partly concealed
by the stunted furze and shrubs.
Sir William still toiled upward. In different
places along the hill-side, and even at some dis-
tance beyond its foot, were promiscuous groups
of men, women, and children,— some reposing
after fatigue, and others seated round blazing
fires of wood and furze. The slaughtered car-
cases of sheep and cows often lay in close neigh-
bourhood with the mortal remains of their
enemies ; and the hungry and houseless Croppy
hacked a piece from the plundered animal he
had killed for his food, held it on his pike-
head before the blaze, and when to his mind
thus inartificially cooked, either stretched his
rude spit, still holding the morsel on its point,
to some member of his family, or voraciously
S8 THE CliOPPY".
devoured it himself. And even here, amongst
these houseless and friendless people — none, we
would add, of the ferocious garrison of the wind-
mill prison, but rather some poor wanderers
from a burnt cabin, recently come in — even
amongst them, surrounded by sights of horror,
and stifling their hunger in this almost savage
manner, national characteristics were not worn
down. The laugh was frequent, as the cook
made some droll remark upon the novelty of
his occupation, or the excellence of the fare ;
the words deriving half their import from his
tone and manner as he perhaps said — " Well !
it's nate mate, ccnsidherin orange sheep;'' — or
— " By gonnies ! orange is the Croppy's friend,
an"* who'll deny id ;"*" — holding the broiled flesh
high on his pike: — " Sure it's no other than a
friend 'ud feed fat sheep for a body ; — -open your
mouths an' shet your e3^es, now boys an' girls —
the biggest mouth 'ill have this undher the
teeth, I'm thinkin':"— and then they gaped
and laughed loud, as, with a grave face, the
examiner went round to decide on the compara-
tive width of each yawning cavern.
There were carousing groups too, sending
illicit whiskey, or other more legal liquor, from
hand to hand ; and upon them the beverage
THE CRCPPY. 29
did not fail of its enlivening effect. And lead-
ers appeared, with green ribands, or perhaps a
military sash around their persons, or epaulettes
on their shoulders, torn, as well as the second-
mentioned article, from officers they had slain,
inspecting different bands of insurgents as they
practised their pike exercise; now driving for-
ward the weapon at a given object ; now dart-
ing it over their shoulders as if to meet a foe
from behind ; and now adroitly grasping it at
either end with both hands, and bringing into
play the elastic staff, as, with great dexterity,
they whirled it round their persons, to keep off
an attack in front. And all the while arose
loud vociferations, each directing the other,
according as he arrived, or fancied he had
arrived, at greater proficiency than his neigh-
But Sir William's attention was at length
riveted upon the particular throng who, vari-
ously occupied, surrounded the narrow entrance
to the old tower. The clamorous crowd, with
furious action and accents, hustled together,
and a first glance told that their present occu-
pation brought into energy all the ferociousness
of their nature.
Some of them, who were on horseback, waved
30 THE CROPPY.
their arms, and endeavoured to raise their
voices over the din of those around, who, how-
ever, vociferated too ardently to hsten to their
words ; and, as all looked on at the slaughter
committed by a line of pikemen drawn up be-
fore the tower, whose weapons were but freed
from one victim to be plunged into another, it
was not merely a shout of triumph, but the
more deadly yell of glutted vengeance, or ma-
lignity, which, drowning the cry of agony that
preceded it, burst, with little intermission, from
Two sentinels, armed with muskets, guarded
the low and narrow entrances to the temporary
prison, and grimly did they scowl on the
crowded captives pent up within its walls.
Another man, gaunt and robust in stature,
having a horseman''s sword buckled awkwardly
at his hip, a green ribbon tied round his foxy
felt hat, the crimson sash of a slain militia
officer knotted round his loins, two large pis-
tols thrust into it, and a formidable pike in
his hand, rushed, from time to time, into the
tower, dragged forth some poor victim, put
him to a short examination, and then, un-
less something were urged in favour of the
destined sufferer, sufficient to snatch him from
THE CROPPY. 31
the frightful fate numbers had already met, he
flung him to his executioners. And this man,
so furious, so savage, and so remorseless, was
Armed also with a musket, and stationed
between the line of pikemen and the door of
the tower, in order that he might be the first
agent of vengeance, stood the ill-favoured
scoundrel we have mentioned in a former chap-
ter — the murderous Murtoch Kane, late a
" stable-boy" at the inn of Enniscorthy. This
fellow would take life for pastime ; but still,
as he levelled at his victim, proud of the privi-
lege of anticipating his brother-executioners, his
brow ever curled into the murderer's scowl.
The hasty interrogatories proposed to each
cringing captive by Shawn-a-Gow, midway be-
tween the tower and the pikemen, had exclusive
reference to the religious creed of the party ; and
the acknowledgment of Protestantism, deemed
synonymous with Orangeism, at once proclaimed,
or rather was assumed as proclaiming, a deadly
enemy, meriting instant vengeance ; yet in this,
the rabble-insuro;ents of Vinco^ar Hill acted with
a curious inconsistency. Many Protestants held
command in the main force of which they called
themselves adherents ; — nay, the individual se-
ti^ THE CROPPY.
lected by unanimous choice as " Commander-
in-Chief,"''' was of the established rehgion of
the State. But why pause to point out any
departure from principle in the persons of such
men as are before us ? Were their deeds to be
justly visited on the more courageous as well
as more numerous bodies of the insurgents,
we might indeed occupy ourselves with the
Panting and nearly fainting, Sir William
Judkin gained the tower, and, ere he could
address a question to those around, stood still
to recover his breath. Two prisoners were
dragged forth by the relentless Shawn a-Gow.
^' Are you a Christian ?''"' he demanded,
glaring into the face of one trembling wretch,
as he grasped him by the collar.
*^ I am, Jack Delouchery,"'^ he was answered.
'' Are you a right Christian ?''
^' I am a Protestant."'
" Ay— the Orange."
" No, not an Orangeman."
'' Now, hould silence, you dog ! every mo-
ther's son o' ye is Orange to the backbone. Is
there any one here to say a word for this Orange-
There was an instant's silence, during which
THE CROPPr. 33
the pale, terror-stricken man gazed beseechingly
upon every dark and ominous face around him ;
but the cry ^' Pay him his reckonin"" " soon
sealed the victim's doom ; and with a fierce
bellow, the words '^ Ay, we'll weed the land
o' ye — we'll have only one way; — we'll do to
every murtherer o' ye what ye 'd do to us;" —
was the furious sentence of the smith, as he
pitched him forward. Murtoch Kane shot,
and a dozen pikes did the rest.
The smith seized the second man. One of
the lookers-on started forward, claimed him as a
friend, and told some true or feigned story of
his interference previous to the insurrection,
between Orange outrage and its victims ; and he
was flung to his patron by Shawn-a-Gow, with
the carelessness of one who presided over life
and death ; the same savage action tossing the
all but dead man into life, which had hurled the
previous sufferer into eternity.
Sir William Judkin, as the smith ag-ain
strode to the door of the prison, came forward
to address him, with the question ready to burst
from his chopped and parched lips, when the
man whose name he would have mentioned,
already in the gripe of Shawn, was dragged
forth into view.
^4 THE CROPPV.
The Baronet stepped back. His manner
changed from its fiery impetuosity. He now
felt no impulse to bound upon a prey escaping
from his hands. In the Gow's iron grasp, and
in the midst of a concourse of sworn enemies,
the devoted Talbot stood sufficiently secured ;
and, as if to indulge the new sensations of re-
venge at last gratified, or to compose himself
to a purpose that required system in its execu-
tion, he stood motionless, his lynx-eye darting
from beneath his black brows arrowy glances
upon his rival, and his breathing, which re-
cently had been the pant of anxiety, altered
into the long-drawn respiration of resolve.
Captain Talbot ayjpeared dispoiled of his
military jacket, his helmet, his sash, and all the
other tempting appendages of warlike uniform,
which long ago had been distributed amongst
the rabble commanders of " the camp." No
man can naturally meet death with a smile : it
is affectation even in the hero that assumes it ;
it is bravado, on other lips, to hide a quailing
heart: it was the vanity of consistency in the
stoic, because his disciples were looking on with
their stiles and tablets to minute his last words
and conduct to posterity ; had he been bleeding
to death in a desert, the echoes of the solitude
THE CROPPY. 35
would have made answer to his moans. Even He
who triumphed over death, and whose example
must teach how to die, as well as how to live,
prayed that the bitter cup might pass away ;
and even the consolations of His religion will but
serve to clothe the features with solemn resigna-
tion to the loss of life. But, particularly in the
event of a sudden and terrible summons from
existence, hero and coward, saint and sinner,
must present alike, to the approach of the dread
summoner, though perhaps in different degrees
of expression, an eye of horror and a pallid
cheek. And Captain Talbot, whatever might
have been the strength and the secrets of his
heart, as he instinctively resisted the compelling
arm of Shawn-a-Gow, was pale and trembling,
and his glance was that of terror.
Hopeless of mercy, he spoke no word, used
no remonstrance; it was unavailing. Before
him bristled the red pikes of his ruthless execu-
tioners ; behind him stood IMurtoch Kane, cock-
ing his musket ; and the grasp that dragged him
along told at once the determination and the
strength of the infuriated giant.
"■ There 's a dozen o' ye, I 'm sure !" sneered
Shawn; '' Til standout to spake for Sir Thomas
Hartley's hangman/' The tone of bitter, savage
mockery in which he spoke, grated at Talbot's
ear, as first grinning into his prisoner's face,
he tlien glanced in fierce triumph over the
*' A good pitch to him, Capt'n Delouchery,"
cried one of the executioners : " don't keep
uswaitin'; we're dhry an' hungry for him:"
and a general murmur of execration followed,
and an impatient shout at the delay of ven-
" My undeserved death will be avenged,
murderers as you are," said the ghastly Cap-
tain Talbot, in reckless serenity of accent.
Shawn-a-Gow held him at arm's length, and
with an expression of mixed ferocity and amaze-
ment again stared into his face.
*^ An' you 're callin' us murtherers, are
you?" he said, after a moment's pause — " Boys!
bould Croppy boys, d' ye hear him ? Tell me,
ar'n't you the man that stood by the gallows
foot, wid the candle in your hand, waitin' till
the last gasp was sent out o' the lips o' him who
often opened his dour to you, and often sat
atin an dhrinkin wid you, under his own
loof .? — ar'n't you, Talbot, that man?"
No answer came from the accused.
'^ Yon don't say no to me ; ay ! becase
THE CROPPV. 37
you can't; — an' you call out murtherers on us.
— Are you here, Pat Murphy ?" he roared.
** I'm here," replied the man who had be-
fore raised the first cry for instant vengeance.
" Do you know any thing good this caller
o' names done to you ?''
" It was him an' his yeomen hung the only
born brother o' me."
'^ An' d' you hear that, ^ou murtherer? —
d' you hear that, an' have you the bouldness in
you to spake to us ? — I '11 tell you, you Orange
skibbeah ! we '11 keep you up for the last ; ay,
by the sowl o' my son ! we '11 keep you for the
very last, till you 're half dead wid the fear,
an' till we '11 have time to pay you in the way
I 'd glory to see or — come here, Murphy ;
come out, here — stand close — you ought to be
first ; take your time wid him ; keep him
feeling id, as long as a poor Croppy 'ud feel
the rope, when they let him down only to pull
him up again."
The man stepped forward as he was ordered.
Shawn-a-Gow swung the struggling Captain
Talbot around. AVith the instinctive avoid-
ance of a terrible death, the prisoner grasped
with his disengaged hand the brawny arm that
held him, and, being a young man of strength,
&0 Tin: ci'.oppy.
clung to it in desperation — in desperation with-
out hope. But, although he was young and
strong and desperate, too, he opposed the sinew
of a Hercules. The smith, with his single arm,
dashed him backwards and forwards, until, mad-
dened by Talbot's continued chnging, and his
agile recovery of his legs at every toss, Shawn's
mouth foamed ; he seized in his hitherto inac-
tive hand the grasping arms of the struggler,
tore them from their hold, and " Now, Mur-
phy,'"* he bellowed, as Murphy couched his
pike, and pushed down his hat and knit his
brows to darkness. Shawn-a-Gow's right side
was turned to the executioner ; his black, dis-
torted face, to the weapon upon vvhich he should
cast his victim ; he stood firmly on his divided
legs, in the attitude that enabled him to exert
all his strength in the toss he contemplated ;
when Sir William Judkin, hitherto held back
by a wish perhaps to allow all vicissitudes of
suiFering to visit his detested rival, sternly step-
ped between the writhing man and his fate.
" Stop, Delouchery !" he said, in a deep, im-
pressive voice; and before the smith could ex-
press his astonishment or rage at the interrup-
tion, — " stop !" he said again, in higher accents;
*' this man," — scowling as he used the term of
THE CROPPY. S9
contempt — " this man must be given into my
hands — I must kill him ;" — he continued in a
whisper close at Shawn's ear — " I must kill
*' Why so ?'' growled the smith.
*^ He is the murderer of my father-in-law."*
" People here has just as good a right to
him," answered Shawn-a-Gow surlily, much
vexed at the interruption he had experienced,
and scarce able to stay his hand from its im-
pulse : " here *s Pat Murphy, an' he hung the
only born brother iv him : and Murphy must
have a pike through Talbot : / had one through
" And he shall. But, Delouchery, listen
farther : Talbot has forced off my wife — has
her concealed from me — Sir Thomas Hartley's
daughter : after murdering the father, he would
destroy the child— and that child my wife.
Before he dies, I must force him to confess
where she is to be found — and then, Murph}^
and I for it, between us.''
" I '11 soon force out iv him, for you, where
the wife is."
"No, Delouchery — he will tell nothing here."
" An' where will you bring him to make
40 THE CROPPY.
" Only to yonder field, at the bottom of
The smith paused, and seemed resolving
the proposition in all its points. He cast his
eyes around. " Mollony, come here — Farrell,
come here," he said. Two men advanced
from the interior of the prison.
" Where 's the rope that tied the Orangemen
that cum into the camp from Benclody ?''
" It's to the good for another job, Capfn."
Without farther explanation, he forced Cap-
tain Talbot backward into the prison ; re-
appeared with him, his hands tied behind his
back ; gave the end of the rope into Sir
William Judkin's hand ; then he called Murphy
aside, and, in a whisper of few words, directed
him to accompany " Curnel Judkin," an' give
him a helping hand, or watch him close, as the
case might seem to demand : and then turning
to the Baronet, " There he 's for you now ;
an' have a care an' do the business well."
It would be difficult to divine what were
Captain Talbot's feelings when he recognised
the strange interference between him and his
terrible doom. The first emphatic words ad-
dressed by Sir William Judkin to Shawn-a-Gow
told nothing of his real design, although they
THE CliOPPY. 41
certainly proclaimed his wish to save his rival
from immediate death. The subsequent part
of the conversation between the Baronet and the
smith was begun by the former in a whisper,
and followed up by the latter, while he held the
subject of it at arm's length, in a low, inaudible
growl : so that Talbot could only suspect its
import. And if his still pallid features told
the secrets of his mind, he did indeed suspect ;
for, mixed with the horror which had lately
been their sole expression, eager inquiry,
doubt, and trembling solicitude, now alternately
He was silent, however ; and by the time
that he descended the hill-side, guarded at one
shoulder by his rival, who held the end of the
rope which strongly tied him, and at the other
by Murphy, who still clutched the weapon he
had just couched for his death, Captain Talbot
seemed collected, too.
The last slanting rays of the setting sun
shot upward against the slope of the eminence,
as the victim and his escort strode down to
its base ; and although that brilliant beam can
turn to a mass of vermilion and gold the most
unsightly vapour which hangs in the heavens,
or fling a glowing interest over objects the
42 THE CROPPY.
most rude or uncouth in themselves, it could
not make less horrible the horrors of the steep
hill-side. Suddenly, the burning orb sank
from view behind the distant curvings of the
extensive panorama spreading all around, and
night began to fall, more appropriately to hide
what the glorious summer-evening only ren-
dered frightfully distinct.
As was generally the case amongst the in-
surgent multitudes, such of the occupants of
the rude camp as had cabins to repair to,
v.cre now bending from the hill to pass the
night under a roof; while others, and those by
far the greater number, stretched themselves
by some rock, or patch of furze, to sleep
beneath the twinkling of the stars. The work
of death ceased for a time. With an approach
towards military usage, the leaders were placing
sentinels at different distances, to give notice
of any approach of the enemy, and imparting
to them some oddly-sounding and fantastic
watchword. The cooking-fires sank down,
and comparative stillness reigned over the
barren extent that had so lately sounded to
the shouts of carousal, to the screams of
agony, and to the fierce clamour of maddened
THE CROPPY. 43
And amid this altered aspect of the savage
scene. Sir Wilham Judkin and Captain Talbot
entered, through a gap in its fence, a lonesome
field, northward from the base of Vinegar Hill.
It may seem a subject for inquiry why the
Baronet thus chose to convey his prisoner to a
spot so solitary, and so far removed from obser-
vation ; but men bent upon any fearful act
will, perhaps unconsciously, select a fit place
to do it in. And Sir "William might have had
some vague idea of the kind, as he strode
towards this remote field, holding a stern
silence, during which he probably nerved him-
self for the coming event, and pulling, at every
step, the end of his victim's manacle ; and his
notions of an appropriate situation, and of the
conduct he was to pursue, might have together
been arrived at, when, in about the middle of
the waste ground, he suddenly halted, whirled
short upon Talbot, raised his person high, as
he struck the end of his pike-stafF into the sod,
and then leaning on the v%-eapon, and glaring a
cool though deep glance from beneath his
meeting brows, at last broke the long silence.
" Talbot, where is my wife ?" His tones
were not loud, yet they sounded fiercely dis-
44 THE CROPPV.
*' Your wife V repeated Talbot expres-
sively, as he returned his rival's stare ; and his
voice wanted little of the rigid composure of
that in which he had been addressed, while it
seemed an echo as well of the Baronet's cadence
as of his words.
The querist started ; perhaps at the recogni-
tion of a resolved mood, cool as his own, when
something more to his purpose was naturally to
have been expected in Talbot's situation.
"Heaven and earth! — do you only repeat
my question ? Have you heard it distinctly T''
" Yes, distinctly."
" And will not answer it ?
'* No .^ — I have saved your life !"
" That is yet to be shown."
" How .? — how, better than I have already
shown it V
*' Set me at hberty."
" You would do so in my situation T^
Talbot was silent. Sir William repeated his
" I will make no reply."
" You need not. I know well in what man-
ner you would use over me the power I now
have over you."
THE CROPFV. 45
*' If SO, pass the subject."'
" Talbot, still you can bribe me to set you
free. Speak but a fesv words, and I cut this
rope, and give you safeguard beyond the last
" Propose the words.''
" First — I again demand — where is my wife ?"
" You mean. Sir Thomas Hartley's daughter?"
" Be it so : how have you disposed of her .^"
" Still I must decline to answer you."
'' Well, this at least, this — '' Sir William
began to tremble, while his captive remained
self-possessed, and he hissed a question into
" No!" was the quick answer: "No! she
is yet, what she has ever been, innocent as the
angel inhabitant of Heaven !"
" Swear it ! — swear by the Eternal Ruler of
the Universe, who, in the silence of this night,
listens to record your oath ; and, Talbot, to
record it for you, or against you."
" By that Great Judge, before whom in a
few seconds I may appear, I swear it !"
" Well — I believe you ; for, Talbot, could
you, without peril to your eternal lot, answer
me otherwise — otherwise I had been answered."
Sir William's voice sank low, expressing the
46 THE CROPPY.
relief his feelings experienced, and for a mo-
ment his head drooped towards his breast :
but suddenly he raised it to its former fierce
" Villain ! — and you have vrell and truly
judged my character — you dared not suppose I
could drag you here, bound in a felon rope, at
my mercy, and not kill you ; kill you — ay !
and your last answer has sealed your doom !
Murderer, miscreant, fool ! — yes, fool ! — your
death now becomes necessary — now — here —
this instant, inevitable, to hinder you from
accomplishing over me the triumph you have
not yet attained : you know me, and I know
you; yet, with all the stains upon your ac-
cursed name, I can credit your oath, and you
die, that you may not disentitle yourself to re-
" And do not you suppose,*" retorted Talbot,
still seemingly echoing the tones in vi^hich he
was addressed — '* do not you suppose that,
after understanding your character and your
nature, I had expected mercy at your hands
when I gave that answer? — and call me not
fool, for, fool, at least, you do not believe I am.
You know that, from your first interference on
tlie top of the hill, I read your purpose ; that
THE CROl'PY. "H
I did not dream of averting it by my reply to
a question worthy of you; that all along I
expected you would coolly shed my blood ; —
now, point your pike at once, and rid me of
your abhorred company !''
" Ay ?" — laughed out Sir William Judkin,
at last fully excited — " ay ! by the spacious
heavens above us!— and I feared — I trembled
at the thought that any other man than myself
might have a share in killing you. You saw
me whisper and motion from us, ere we entered
this field, the man who, on account of the
murder of his beloved brother, through your
agency, pretends to dispute the right with
me: I bribed him to leave us together for a
moment ; had he refused, I would luive earned
the opportunity of dealing with you alone, by
first stretching him at my feet. No hand but
this — this — shall dare to let forth one drop of
your blood — for it is all mine— mine every little
" The Lord have mercy on my soul !" said
Talbot solenmly, and now not without emo-
tion ; — ^' Oh, well I know it — the least animal
knows its natural murderer ; and I — could I
mistake you ? — The Lord have mercy on my
soul !"" he repeated in an exhausted voice, and
48 THE CROPPY.
yet in such fervour of appeal as a courageous
man assumes when, though taking a farewell of
this life, he can cast forward a strong look into
eternity — " The Lord have mercy on my soul !"
he said, for the third time.
*^ And," resumed Sir WilHam Judkin, in
his former strain of loud exultation — ^* I could
satisfy a sceptic, if he dared to raise a doubt,
of my fair, my indisputable claim to every
bubble that courses round your heart !^'
" I ask but one minute's liberty to kneel,"
interrupted Talbot, evidently not attending to
the last words — *^ hold the rope more at length,
and only let me kneel."
^' First hear me," answered his rival, twining
it yet another coil round his left-hand, while
he grasped the pike in his right. " Even to
yourself I will recite the grounds of my ex-
clusive proprietorship in your life, and gainsay
them if you can" — his high voice sank omi-
nously low: — ^' you dared to cross my love —
you dared to raise your eyes to the very lady
I had wooed and won — you leagued and plotted
with a common ruffian to murder me — you sent
him to waylay me — upon the felon gdlows,
hanging like a dog, you watched the last ago-
nies of my father-in-law — by perjury you con-
THE CROPPY. 49
trived his fate, and by perjury you would have
doomed me to the same death of ignominy
Next, with the hands that all but strangled
her father, you tore away my wife, and you
now refuse to render her back to me, or to dis-
cover the place of her imprisonment. But, — "
his voice sank lower still — " but, Talbot, the
deadliest item is to be told — you dared, too — "
Sir William stopped, for the footsteps of
Murphy sounded near, as he said, — " Tundher-
an' fire, Curnel ! will you keep him talkin' all
the night long ? — Let me have my share o' the
work, till I be goin'."
'^ Here, Murphy," cried Sir WiUiam, speak-
ing rapidly — *' what value do you set on your
revenge against this man ?"
" What value duv I — what ?"" asked the
gaping fellow, as he endeavoured to compre-
hend the question.
" Sir, take these two guineas," rejoined
Sir William eagerly ; " take them, and leave
him to me — I would have no partner in putting
him to death."
*' Och, by the hokey !'* replied Murphy,
and he could say no more, for still he was not
able to understand why he should get so con-
siderable a bribe.
VOL. III. D
50 THE CROPPY.
" Or, if you persist," — Sir William burst
into a rage — " I will first kill you, and then
stretch him upon your body ! — Begone, I
" An' is id to go away, your honour is givin'
the good money ?"
« Yes — I would purchase from you the sole
privilege of taking vengeance upon him."
" That 's as much as to say you '11 pike
him yoursef, widout any body to help
" Ay !" cried Sir William exultingly —
" pike him while an inch can quiver !"
" Well, I wish you loock, Curnel : the only
spite I have to 'im is on the head o' the poor
brether o' me ; but sence you say you '11 do id
for the both iv us, at oncet, an' do it so well,
into the bargain, sure, there 's no differ betuxt
us ; — good-night !"
" Leave me ! quick, quick !"
" Och, as quick as you plase : to tell the
blessed truth, I had only half a heart for id
in the night-time, this a-way, an' in this ugly,
lonesome place, whatever I 'd do by the light
o' the sun :" and the man plodded towards
the hill, wondering much at the fancy of '* the
Curnel," who, " it was asy enough to see.
THE CROPPY. 51
thought the pike-exercise to be great fun,
when he 'd give two yellow guineas to have id
all to himsef, an"* be ready to ate one up
in a bit, jest for not takin' 'em at the first
" And now, Talbot," said Sir William
Judkin, " we are quite alone ; prepare your-
self — you stand here my bound and manacled
victim, and I will slay you."
" Finish the last charge you were about to
make against me, when your fellow-murderer
interrupted us," replied Talbot.
** No, Talbot — not now — I perceive it would
gratify you, and I will not. You know my
meaning, — that is sufficient." ;
*' Then, even of you, I can crave a last
boon — one already preferred — let me kneL4
" Ay, there — " he held the rope at its full
length, so that Talbot could, without strug-
gling, gain the position he wished; — " it tallies
with my humour — I am unwilling to spare
you one pang : kneel — look your last at the
bright stars, — think your last thought of her
whom you leave behind to my love, and to
my triumph over you, — fully feel what it is to
die by the hand of an exulting rival, in youth,
UNIVERSITY OF IIUHOIS
52 THE CROPPY.
in hope, and — a few hours ago — almost his
conqueror ; — I can kill you but once ; and the
torments these thoughts must give you, will
prolong, in anticipation, to my heart, the
positive enjoyment of the final act. Nor dare
to build a lying comfort upon the hope of my
not discovering the place to which you have
forced her. Fool ! I call you so again, fool !
I will find my wife — ay, my wife, Talbot, if
she yet lives upon the surface of the earth !"
Captain Talbot had quickly availed himself
of the permission to fall upon his knees. For a
moment he seemed occupied in mental prayer,
his eyes turned upward; then he suddenly
broke forth aloud.
" I have fearful things to answer for at thy
fJudgment Seat — in thy mercy, accept my pre-
sent repentance, on the verge of an early and
fearful death. And O Almighty Father of my
being ! if the prayer of a wretched sinner can
ascend into thy presence, give ear to my last
earthly petition : permit not the approach of
my base murderer to the mistress of my heart !
stretch forth thy interposing arm between
them : shield her, save her ! — thou wilt, O
God, thou wilt ! I feel the comfort of thy pro-
mise in my soul ! Unworthy as I am, my prayer
has been beard !" He started to his feet, as
quickly as his pinioned arms would permit him,
and addressed Sir WiUiam Judkin — " Yes ! I
have had a view into futurity. The spirit of
prophecy is upon me. You can slaughter me ;
but listen — never, never, will you enjoy her
smiles from whom you thus separate me ! Never
will her white arms clasp my murderer's neck !
And I leave her but a little time before you —
you, too, must sink into an early and ignomi-
nious grave ; and during your short sojourn upon
earth, my watchful spirit, hovering over your
most secret steps, ^vill still protect my beloved
mistress from ^^our touch !"
" This, then, to free you for your mission !"
exultingly cried Sir William Judkin. While Tal-
bot spoke, he had gradually shortened the pike-
handle in his grasp, and pointed its head to his
victim's breast, and with cool and deadly cer-
tainty he was making the push forward, when
he felt the weapon seized behind him, and for-
cibly tugged backward. At the same instant,
both his arms were secured, and the pistol, which
he had thrust into his bosom, was snatched from
him by a woman's hand, and that woman the
same through whose agency he had escaped
from the castle of Enniscorthy.
54 THE CROPPY.
While he struggled desperately to force him-
self out of the grasp of two strong men, each of
whom held separately one of his arms, the
woman cut asunder Captain Talbot's bonds :
and, ''Now V she said, in the same impressive
voice which on a former occasion had startled
Sir William Judkin ; " now, Talbot, fly : for
you are free to fly ! Pause not an instant ;
your eye tells the vengeance you would in turn
take upon him — but dare not to injure a hair
of his head ! If I have saved him from the
guilt of shedding your blood, I can and will
farther save him from death or inj ury at your
hands,— fly, and do not parley : fly while you
are not prevented !''
^' We meet again !" cried Captain Talbot,
walking close up to his rival ; and then he
made use of his freedom, and left the spot.
'* And ive have met again !" said the woman,
also confronting Sir William, the moment Tal-
bot had departed.
*' Fiend from hell !" exclaimed the Baronet,
madly renewing his struggles, and now more
successful than at first. One arm was disen-
gaged, and with its clenched hand he struck
his second captor to the ground, and bounded
backward at full liberty, catching up the pike
THE CROPPy. 55
that had been forced from him, and then flung
upon the grass.
" Perish, wretch ! whoever you are !"' he con-
tinued, darting his weapon at the man he had
just felled ; and the faint exclamation of his
victim was cut short by the flutter of his last
" And now !" glaring around for another
prey, but the second man had disappeared ;
and the woman stood on the fence of the field,
crying out after him — " Stand, coward !— come
back, or he escapes me I — I will not fire upon
him, and alone I cannot secure him !"" Ere
she had done speaking. Sir William had closely
approached her, with the stealthy stride of the
wild Indian creeping upon liis foe; — the rustle
of the grass under his feet caused her to turn ;
when she saw him so near, a suppressed scream
escaped her, and she jumped down, and was
hid from his view by the fence.
Eagerly he sprang after her : in his haste,
and perhaps on account of the exhausted state
of his frame, his foot slipped, and he fell back-
ward. Regaining his feet, with curses and im-
precations, he stood, at a second effort, outside
the field. A figure rapidly made way towards
the town, along a narrow pathway leading from
56 THE CROPPY.
the base of Vinegar-hill, and he believed they
were a woman's garments which fluttered on
the light breeze. Sir William pursued with
his utmost speed, still keeping the fugitive in
view ; but at a particular point, the pathway
ran between rising grounds, which deeply sha-
dowed it, and there the moving object escaped
his eye. Footsteps, however, still sounded be-
fore him, and he did not relax his speed ; they
grew fainter, and he summ.oned all his strength
even to increase it : they suddenly ceased, and
he stopped, panting and staggering, to look
around. He had passed the narrow track lead-
ing from Enniscorthy to the hill ; he was in the
ruined suburb which had been consumed upon
the day of the late attack ; silence reigned
throufijh all the black desolation that surrounded
him, and no living creature apjieared in view.
" I am lost," he muttered, keenly aroused to
a sense of the disappointments of the last half-
hour — " on every side lost : hell and earth
league against me !" and furiously shouting, as
if in defiance of the faintness he felt approach-
ing. Sir William sank upon the ground : over-
strained nature could no longer bear up against
the fatigue and the agitation he had for nearly
three days and nights endured.
It is not with us always a matter of choice
that we present before the reader pictures of
human passion and excess, which, we are aware,
may inspire some tyro-critic, whom they in-
struct in the secrets of his fellow-creatures,
with a hint, whispered over the shoulders of
such of our patrons as, like the indolent Gray,
read new novels on sofas. But we paint from
the people of a land, amongst whom, for the last
six hundred years, national provocations have
never ceased to keep alive the strongest, and
often the worst passions of our nature ; whose
pauses, — during that long lapse of a country's
existence,— from actual conflict in the field, have
been but so many changes irto mental strife ;
and who, to this day, are held prepared, should
the war-cry be given, to rush at each other's
58 THE CROl'PY.
throats, and enact scenes that, in the columns
of a newspaper,
(" That folio of four pages, happy work !
Wliich not even critics criticise/')
would show more terribly vivid than in these
chapters any selected by us, from former facts,
for the purposes of candid though slight illus-
Necessity, then, rather than choice, some-
times compels us to exhibit individuals and
occurrences proper to the community that sup-
phes originals for our study. We do not pour-
tray the minds, the hearts, the habits, the
manners, or the acts of a tranquillized and a
happy people ; least of all do we pourtray the
quiet and passionless decorum which can only
result from a well-knit, long-confirmed, pros-
perous, and perhaps selfish state of society.
If, therefore, some such critic as has before
been mentioned, occasionally object to us the
extravagance of our delineation, or the harsh-
ness of our colouring, his quarrel is with
human nature, and, it may be, with human
policy, and not with us.
Should he invariably grow pale, or get ill, at
sketches of natural passions, and at the charac-
ter they form, or the events they produce, then,
THE CROPPY. 59
indeed, we would admit his quarrel to be per-
sonal, as regards ourselves; yet, for all that,
we could not afford to administer to his washy,
water-colour taste, by wholly withdrawing our
eyes from those sublime objects of moral study,
which, above all others, stamp breadth and
depth upon the artist's canvass.
Still it is, to ourselves, rather a painful la-
bour than a pleasant relaxation, when we are
obliged to go through some scenes we would
gladly leave unnoticed ; and, on the contrary,
it is truly gratifying when, as is now about to
be the case, we can consistently drop into com-
pany with certain of our characters, from whom
we need apprehend no furious ebullitions of
passion, and no wild aggression against the
species to which we all belong.
We have to recur to Hartley Court, and
describe some events which occurred in that de-
solate mansion immediately after Sir William
Judkin left it, upon the night of his escape
from the castle of Enniscorthy. The old
spirit-broken butler listened to the galloping
clatter of Sir William's horse, until the sounds
died away in the distance, and then slowly
quitted the stable-yard and re-entered the
His aged wife, the housekeeper, and Nanny
the Knitter, were seated in the kitchen, — the
one holding licr dotted apron to her eyes, as
she rocked backward and forward ; the other
occupying, even under existing circumstances, a
certain " cricket stool," which, during her many
visits, she had always considered her proper
throne. Invariably, indeed, upon her arrival
to share the warmth of the kitchen-fire in Hart-
ley Court, Nanny would look about for this
article of furniture, and when asked to be
seated, reply, " Yes, wid a heart-and-a-haif,
my honey pet, an' bless the providhers for the
cooramuch* fire, but I don't see my stool any
where" (although she could point out its pos-
sessor) ; and this declaration of partiality for
"her stool"" never passed unheeded; and she
would carry it to the corner close to " the hob,"
and when established upon it, become president
of the gossip for the evening. On the present
occasion, however, although occupying her
usual post, little appearance of former comfort
was to be seen even in Nanny's corner. Vv' hen
oppressed by extreme misery, people grow in-
different to those little external arrangements
which confer upon their dwellings and persons
a character of cheeriness. Something within
the mind insinuates, " I do not care to attend
to such matters now, — let them remain as they
are." The fire had burnt down in the large
kitchen-grate ; many of the culinary utensils
were in disorder ; a chair, or a form, remained
upset, no one caring to put it upright ; or each
saying, perhaps, " It may lie there, for the
masther is down too C a solitary candle, only
half illuminating the spacious and arched apart-
ment, was allowed to flare on without trim-
ming, until the drooping wick ate into its side ;
and a very old black cat, who, from the hour
of her birth, had never before needed to ap-
proach, for her perfect enjoyment, nearer than
some feet to the fire, now sat but half asleep
in its ashes.
Yet, comfortless as was the appearance of the
kitchen, the old butler and his wife preferred to
occupy it upon this evening, rather than sit in
their own room, where, they said, '* they had no
right to sit any longer, now that their masther
was gone."' No other persons were inmates of
the desolate house. It became necessary, that
none who could not strictly be depended upon
should learn the place of concealment into which
62 TiiK cRorpy.
the plate was to be removed ; and a consultation
ensued between the projectors of the important
scheme, and, at Nanny''s suggestion, many of
the inferior domestics were sent away from
Hartley Court. Two females, who could not
without strong cause be summarily disposed of,
supplied good reason to the housekeeper for
their immediate dismissal, by attempting, amid
the general confusion and dismay, to pilfer some
valuable articles. Timothy Reily, as is known,
had been apprehended along with his master ;
and three of his male fellow-servants, who were
refused admission, as evidences for Sir Thomas,
at the gate of the castle of Enniscorthy, only
returned to the house to communicate the intel-
ligence, together with that of the Baronet's con-
viction, and then set off, infuriated, to join the
insurgents, and revenge his death upon the
party they considered as his murderers.
Long after the butler's return to the kitchen,
silence continued between the sad trio. Nanny
at last spoke.
" Misthress Flannigan, my honey, the darlin'
iv a Sir William is heart-scalded — the Lord look
down upon him, poor crature, this blessed an'
holy night !"
Nanny had never been distinguished for any
THE CHOPPY. 63
great ardency of feeling. Since her husband's
death, httle had occurred to arouse the passion
of grief within her equable breast : all went on
well with her; free from trouble, and certain
that the morrow would find her as welcome a
visitant amongst her neighbours as she had ever
been, she saw her weasel-skin purse gradually
distending to portion off her only daughter ; and
when that daughter was addressed by a ''daler,'
from the town of Ross, — a middle-aged man,
who had come into Nanny's district to make
purchases in the way of his traffic, — and when
she visited his remote establishment, found it
" snug," and consequently agreed that her
Nancy should become its mistress, the old wo-
man remained without care of any kind. For
twenty years she had shed no tear on her own
account; it could, therefore, scarce be expected
that she should weep much over the sorrows of
others. And, in truth, though generally pre-
sent amid the domestic griefs of all in her neigh-
bourhood, none ever reckoned on seeing her
join the mourning wail. It was only calculated
that her constant habits of bending her minute
mind to determine what was best to be done
under every change of circumstances, would give
them the advantage of her care and guidance of
affairs, which they were too much afflicted to
look after ; and, for Nanny's own part, her pre-
dominant spirit of curiosity, and her trade of
intermeddling in other people's concerns, sup-
plied abundant excitement, — even denying her
all claims to benevolence, which we by no means
do, — for exertions invariably presumed on, and
seldom unprofitably undertaken. Upon the. pre-
sent unparalleled occasion, however, she felt the
necessity of making a show of sympathy with
the weeping domestics. It was something like
a mumbling, ill-finished attempt at a moaning
sound, which she sent forth, moving her head
from right to left as its accompaniment ; and
thus she prefaced the observation we have just
recorded ; and when the tears and real sobs of
her auditors came afresh at the associations of
complicated misery her words quickly started,
still Nanny could contribute no more than her
gurgling noise, and the mechanical motion of
her strangely attired head.
" An** the poor disthracted barrowknight is
gone back wid himsef to Enniscorthy, Misthres?
Flannigan, my honey," she continued.
" I fear so," said the butler — " Where they
will soon hang him, as well as my poor masther.
Och ! och ! see what a world it is, an' what
THE CROPPY. 65
people is in id I Where 's the one 'ud think,
this day twelvemonth, that Square Capt'n Tal-
bot, that used to get his bit an' his sup amost
every day undher this poor roof, an' be walkin'
out, in the mornin' an' in the evening wid the
purty Miss EHza, — Lady Eleezabeth Judkin,
barrowknight, that is now, — that he ^d be the
man to bring all this throuble on his good be-
" I never was desaved by him," said the
housekeeper ; " he was a black, forbiddin'-lookin'
young man, except when he put on the smiles
for my darlin' young lady. May ill fortune, as
black as his looks an' his heart, sthrew his road
every day he sees the light ! An' Sir Wil-
liam Judkin, the honey pet, who 'd think he
could be sich a wicked gintleman, — him that
once an' always had the good-humour on his
hansome face ; — an' sure, it was all as one as a
thing done, out-an'-out, when he swore he 'd
pitch me from the winder, blessed be the Hea-
" He can't be blamed, — sure, what happened
was enough to turn any Christian saint into a
madman ; — but, ah ! the Lord purtect us ! what
a thraitor-way the other went to work !" said
66 THE CROPPY.
" A man that*'s crassed," resumed Nanny,
'' listens to ould Nick's whispers, an' sure, he
whispered the worst o** bad thoughts into the
ould sweetheart's head : — bud stop," cried the
acute-eared old woman — " isn't there some one
thryin to get in ? Did you boult the passage-
dour, comin' back from the stables, Misther
Flannigan, my honey ?"
" No," replied the butler, alarmed at the re-
collection ; " I forgot id in my throuble."
" Well, wait here," said the intrepid Knitter ;
— " put the candle undher the biler, an' I '11
stale asy, an' thry to boult it for ycu."
A passage led to a door opening into the
back-yard, and along its sides were other doors
communicating with other apartments — the
housekeeper's-room, the larder, the pantry,
the servants'-hall, and servants' bed-chambers.
Through this passage Nanny, ** widout makin'
mooch noise wid her feet," alertly glided. Re-
collecting the apartment into which Sir William
Judkin had burst his way, she stopped a moment
to turn the key in the back-door that opened
into it ; and then, as well acquainted as the
old black cat in the kitchen, with every step
she should take, continued her progress in
THE CROPPY. 67
The noise which had at first alarmed her was
but indistinctly heard, having occurred at the
front of the house ; but, to her consternation,
as she approached the back-door, the heavy
latch was raised, and persons quickly entered.
She crouched by the wall, near enough to hear
some of their conversation, and the deeply-im-
pressed tones of one of the speakers made her
shiver with terror, for they were the same that
once, under a certain lime-tree, when Nanny was
detected in evesdropping, had threatened her
with annihilation if she should ever again be si-
" All right, Sam !"" said the voice ; — " we 're
in, as sure as the Divil is in Rathdowny — an' I
b'lieve that's a thing there's little doubt about.
Are the other boys comin'? — we must put a
face on id, an' lay id all at the dour o' Whaley's
" They 're thryin at the shetthers abrood,"
answered he of the wooden-leg ; " I '11 have 'em
in to you, wid a hop-step-an'-jump."
Nanny heard Sam pass out into the yard : to
hide herself was now her only thought. It was
a case of life and death to her ; — self only could
be considered. She did not, therefore, dream
of stealing back with any intelligence to the
Oo THE CROPPY.
kitchen, but glided into the housekeeper's
room, nearer at hand, so noiselessly, that even
the acute and listening ear of Bill Nale heard
not a stir.
In this room was a very large chest, such as
may yet be found in the possession of Irish
housewives of the middHng class, who keep
under one lock their wardrobe, their linen, their
important papers, and sundry articles of value :
and beneath its massive lid Mrs. Flannigan,
sharing her husband's cares and duties, had
deposited the plate belonging to Hartley Court,
bedding it upon a quantity of house-linen.
The reader is aware that, previous to Sir Wil-
liam Judkin's visit to the house upon this
evening, the old butler, his wife, and Nanny
the Knitter, had been employed in conveying
the treasure to a place of concealment. His
loud knocking interrupted their task, and sent
them to seek hiding-holes for themselves, but
not before the greater number of the valuable
articles had been safely disposed of. A few
spoons, a pair of candlesticks, and some such
matters, they did abandon, however, to he
supposed intruders; and in their haste and
panic also forgot to close the chest. The
latter fact Nanny particularly recollected as
THE CROPPY. 69
she crept across the room. By some extra-
ordinary contrivance she got into the place of
refuge she had contemplated, pulled down the
lid " azy, azy ;" it was fastened by a spring-
lock, which instantly shot home ; and Nanny
as instantly recollected that she was now a
prisoner, perhaps for a longer time than she
had reckoned on.
Indeed, after vainly trying to raise the lid
again, this thought startled the old dame al-
most out of her sense of the danger she had
incarcerated herself to avoid ; — but some noise
through the house soon recalled her superior
terrors of her persecutor; and then came the
assurance of perfect obscuration from his dread-
ed eye ; and she crouched down upon her couch
of linen, quite resigned even to protracted im-
prisonment, since by it she could escape the
dark fate Bill Nale had, under certain condi-
tions, promised her.
With one ear at the keyhole, and her mouth
wide open, as if through it also she hoped to
admit sound, and her old withered heart smiting
her ribs so forcibly that she could hear every
blow, Nanny listened for a considerable time.
At first, the noise through the house sank into
silence ; then it arose again, faintly and remote,
70 THE CROPPY.
however, to her gaping ear ; then a second time
died away ; and delusive Hope, who deceives,
it may safely be asserted, as often as she points
to reahty, whispered through the only breath-
ing-hole of her prison, that Nanny had indeed
escaped the fangs of the person whom, above
all others in the world, she had reason to fear.
Her heart moderated its assaults against her
ribs. She stretched herself at full length on
her couch, with something like a return of her
usual sensations of comfort ; but, alas ! the
clamour of voices, and the stamping of feet,
now arose nearer than before ; they echoed
through the vaulted passage leading to the
room in which she had taken shelter ; closer
and closer they came ; until at last, wdth sen-
sations almost of dissolution, with faiHng breath
and a steaming frame, she heard the door flung
open, and persons rudely enter.
*' Where have you put the pikes to hide,
you old Crop.? — The house was full of 'em —
we must find 'em afore we quit," said a voice,
which, even under the disguise of an assumed
tone, the wretched Knitter knew to be that of
her enemy. And she at once guessed, recol-
lecting the words she had before overheard in
the passage, that he and his associates had
THE CROPPy. 17
assumed the garb of yeomen, in order to com-
mit plunder with impunity. Such indeed was
the case. The disguise could easily be ob-
tained, nothing more being necessary than to
strip the dead bodies of the loyal soldiers slain
during the last few days; and by these means
Nale and his gang came fully caparisoned as
the King's adherents.
" I have never looked on a pike since I was
born, gentlemen — never, I declare honestly ;
and there is not such a thing in the house, to
" Ay, a purty story, that the ould Croppy
wouldn't have the darthers ready for his men.
What's in this big chest, you papish thief.?"
" Only some linen."
Nanny fervently wished the assertion were
" We '11 soon know that ; — open id, this mo-
ment ; — ay, it 's the very chest we were tould
to look for 'em in."
A pause ensued. Nanny then heard Nale
say something in a growling accent, but his
words escaped her; and then the old butler,
speaking in a high voice, declared he had not
the key, but would go to seek it.
It is in vain we have put down our pen in
72 THE CROPPY.
the hope of selecting terms sufficiently forcible
to describe Nanny's feelings, when she learned
that the lid of her prison was to be raised, and
her person revealed to view. It appeared evi-
dent that Bill Nale expected to find a treasure
in the chest — and oh ! what would be his rage,
when he should discover only a miserable,
trembling old woman, upon whom, without this
additional cause for revenge, but merely as
punishment for again meeting her in the cha-
racter and situation of a listener to his private
discourse, he had sworn to inflict a horrid
death — in fact, for well did Nanny remember
his words — " the death of an ould cat ?'' And
if ever an " ould cat," past the days of for-
giveness, felt beside herself with the terror
of coming fate, when detected in the larder
by the cook, devouring the rare morsel des-
tined, above every thing else, to grace his mas-
ter's table — if ever such poor offender gave
herself up for lost, as the white-capped man of
dishes, shutting the door behind him, entered
just in time to scare her from the last mouthful
of her meal — damning evidence of how the rest
had been disposed of — and then, glaring alter-
nately at the tell-tale fragment of the delicacy
and at the detected glutton, advanced, knife in
THE CROPPY. 7S
hand, upon her — if, not daring to lick her hps
in his presence, the cringing puss may be said
to have experienced dreadful qualms of hor-
ror, more violent, even than her sensations,
were at this moment those of the unfortunate
She had raised herself, resting on one hand ,
to listen to the intruders. Now, with a very
low but utterly despairing groan, she twisted
her person around, sank on her knees and
elbows, rested her teeming forehead on her
death-cold hands, and — as she afterwards de-
scribed it, when we questioned her on her state
of mind during this severe trial — " her ould
heart riz up to the root iv her tongue, an'
she could count every ugh, ugh, ugh, it gave
there, as plain as that" — rapping her knuckles
against a table — " an' it went as fast too, my
honeys'^ — and she repeated the knocks, about
three to a second — " an' it was the very most
I could do to keep swallyin id down, or into
the poor mouth o' me it 'ud jump, purtect the
*' Listen, Sam," said Rattling Bill, speaking,
while the butler remained away, in his own
undisguised voice, as he gave the chest a shake
which caused the few articles of plate inside
VOL. III. E
74 THE CROPPY.
to jingle, and sadly discomposed the position
of the poor prisoner.
'* By the deed, an' sure the lob is in id,"
" What keeps ould Flannigan ?" asked an-
other voice, " hadn't we betther break it open ?
The daylight 'ill soon be comin\"
" Did you tackle the horse an' cart, as I bid
you, Sam .?" questioned Nale.
'^ It's ready., upon my word."
" Well — the dawn is breakin', sure enough —
an' it wouldn't do to be caught by the pikemen
wid the King's coats on us,'^ resumed Bill ;
" curse o' Cromwell on the day ! where is id
coniin' so soon ? — But bear a hand here, my hear-
ties, an' well whip chest an' all away, hoize it
on the cart in the yard, smash it to bits in some
soft place, an' then ye may burn the skeucks*
an' spill out the tnurphiesf on silver dishes
all the rest o' your lives."
" That's the plan o' plans, by the deed!"
concurred Sam ; " so, come."
The men surrounded the chest ; and tliere
was a general " here !" given, in that long ca-
dence which is the signal for simultaneous ex-
* Osier strainers. f Potatoes.
THE CROPPY. to
ertion. One end of it was raised, and Nanny
slipped down to the other; — ''here again f
the men piped, and she felt herself lifted up.
" It's mortial heavy," observed one.
" Hah !" laughed Nale, *' that 's the sign an'
token that there's choicer stuff than feathers
inside iv it. Listen again," as the plate con-
tinued to jingle ; *' there's nate music, I Vlieve
— nater nor the best o' pipes ever played ;
' silver an' goold to thee I give,' says the
The subdued laugh that followed this jocu-
larity sounded at Nanny's ear as does the
giggle of his torturer's to the benumbed yet
terrified senses of the wretch who, in that not
unreal state of suffering called night-mare,
fancies himself gasping under the fantastic in-
flictions of a score of fiends.
As Sam had engaged, a cart and horse stood
in the yard ready to receive the much-prized
but ill- understood load. The groaning car-
riers laid their fardel on the cart ; and Nanny
judged, if judgment she could pretend to form,
that a conversation ensued in very low tones
between four persons. Then the cart went
for some time rapidly along, over a rough
road ; and many a jolt did she get, and often
/O THE CROPPY.
did her poor head come in rude contact with
the sides and ends of her moving dungeon.
Then she concluded that the way became still
more difficult ; for Nanny could feel that she
travelled very slowly.
And during this slackened progress she
caught — very unwillingly, for the first time in
her life — the continuation of a dialogue held
between Nale and Sam, as they sat at different
sides of the chest, and spoke in loud accents
over it. From the free and confidential manner
in which they interchanged some important
opinions and allusions, Nanny concluded that
they were now alone with their prize, and alas !
unsuspicious of the near espionage of that indi-
vidual whom, above all that breathed, Nale had
formerly seemed unwilling to admit into his se-
crets ; and agony came with the thought, that
this involuntary offence would surely add, at the
proper moment, ruthless determination to Biirs
revenge upon her person.
" By my deed an' conscience!"" said Sam, " it
was the hoith o' good loock that put him in your
'* Hah ! — an' never mind one me for not
missin* the wind fall. Never fear Bill Nale for
makin* his milch-cow o' the rock o** sense, as
THE CROPPY. 77
people thinks Square Talbot to be. You know
well, Sammy, we never want a shiner while his
purse has a cross in id."
" Threw enough, Bill; but who'd think that
he 'd turn out sich a scape-grace, as well as sich
a fool ; — he that all the world, too, took for a
civil, honest fellow intirely."
" By the livin' farmer ! I couldn't think it of
him mysef, the first time I come across him ; —
an' it isn't all out plain to me that I didn't bite
him, widout knowin' id, some day or other, since
we happened to be such friends together."
" Bud, betuxt yoursef an' mysef, Billy,
honey, isn't id a raal wondher, an' a thing wid-
out sense in id, how he could go to turn hang-
man upon Square Hartley ?"
" No wondher at all, though I won't deny
you what you say about the sense o' the mat-
ther ; — it 's my notion he 'd go, neck-an'-heels,
into the roastin' pit ; — you know where I mane,
or, at laste you '11 know id one o' these days —
bud I b'lieve he'd stand a week's fryin' in that
place, jest to have a smile from Square Hart-
ley's daughther the week afther ; an' he couldn't
get near her, by hook or by crook, while the fa-
ther lived. Why, Sam, if you seen how he
bounced up when I showed him my crans for
/O THE CKOrPY.
noosin'' the old barrowknight ; — though, by the
piper ! Sam, I never done a thing that went so
hard aginst my grain as that ; he was a raal
gintleman, so he was ; — bud, when the marriage
come about, I couldn't do what I had to do
any other way; — an' they have to blame them-
selves; I tould 'em to dhrop the business, an'
" Who did you warn on the head iv id ?"
" I sent a message to the daughther hersef,
by that ould Tory, Nanny the Knitther ; bud it
isn't clear to me that she said my words right
foment Miss Hartley; — no matther — wait till
we do what's in hand, an' then, maybe, I'd
clap my paw on the ould thramper."
Nanny felt no increase of comfort in her
" An' you helped Square Talbot so bravely,
Bill, to lock up the sweetheart at last.?"
The listener experienced, for an instant, some
little interest apart from her own absorbing si-
*' Yes, we done that for 'im. an' we done id
hansome; she w^ent wid hearty good-will, think-
in', by the hokey frost ! that she was goin' to
meet the poor father ; — bud she must thravel a
longer road afore she sees him agin."
THE CROPPY. 79
"* An' what road did she thravel that prasent
" Jest to Square Talbot's new house, that 's
near Dunbrody. You know id, Sam ; it 's on
the hoigth afore you cross the pill, goin' to
the ould abbey ; an' he 's only waitin' till we
have the mackerony iv a husband she got the
other day berred snug in the little church :
an' then he'll make her marry him, in spite iv
all the world. Them women are the divils, out-
an'-out, Sammy, an' well I know id ; there isn't
a livin' man on Ireland's ground able for Bill
Nale ; bud ever since the day he was born, one
woman or another crowed over him ; an' I b'lieve
that 's a curosity. First, there was the ould,
cross-grained mother o' me from the black
North ; — well, she went her road, an' I thought
I was a free man ; but then, the duoul puts id
into the proud heart o' that great lady iv a wife
I had to take a notion o' me, an' quit her fa-
ther"'s grand house on a pillion at my back, when
you and I, Sam, forged the rhaumaiish of a story
about my gettin' her from the fairies, that all
the sensible neighbours gave ear to." —
" Yes, by my deed ! an' a nate, pleasant story
it was ; bud her fine ladyship didn't stick to
you long, Billy, my boy."
80 THE CROPPY.
"By the hokey frost! Sam, she's dhrivin'
me still, — or else another woman for her, an'
that's all the same thing."
" And nothin' in the world 'ill do. Bill, bud
to sthretch him in Dunbrody ?"
" Nothin'; 'twas the first ordhers I got, as
you ought to remember, Sam, by what you saw
an' hard the night big Father Rourke tuck him
out iv our hands; an', by the farmer ! betther
he doesn't desarve, if it was only on account of
his gettin' clear o' me so often. Why, only last
night agin, Sam, we were cock-sure of him, when
the girl let him out of Enniscorthy castle wid
her own hands : — but naubocklish, I'll pin him,
an' that soon, or I 'm not Bill Nale ; an' so
" Bud tell us. Bill, how is Hartley's daugh-
ther to be brought to marry the man that
sthrung up her father, an' that 's to have a
hand in murdherin her husband !"
" How the duoul does Bill Nale know ? or
what the duoul does Bill Nale care ? It 's my
own business I'm doin', Sam Stick-leg, an' not
Square Talbot's; though he 'd swear to any one
'ud ax him that I was workin' neck-or-nothin'
for him, an' for nobody else : — well, see what
fools there's in the world ; an', in all my doins,
THE CROPPY. 81
the biggest fools I ever met were ever an' always
chaps like him, that thought they had a power o'
sense in their heads : only for one thing I 'd
turn round on him, at the jingle of a purse, an'
let poor Hartley's daughther have the sweet-
heart she'd rather have ; bud she must do wid-
out him to plase one that, I tell you once agin,
rules Bill Nale as hard as his ould cantankerous
cripple iv a mother, or his mighty grand lady iv
a wife ever did."
Nanny heard much more of the conversation
of these worthies; and we had from her lips —
for we found it impossible to stem her garrulity
— materials sufficient to fill many additional
pages ; but we feel no wish to report the words
of such a character as Rattling Bill Nale far-
ther than is absolutely unavoidable.
For about an hour and a half Nanny con-
tinued to jolt along in her very uncomfortable
vehicle ; and although a great portion of the
dialogue she overheard could not fail to impress
itself upon her mind, still she never ceased to
regard the unhappy circumstance of her being
a listener to it as, using her own words, an ad-
ditional " nail in her coffin ;" and her whole
journey was therefore spent in despairing anti-
cipations of the fate which awaited her.
82 THK CROPPY.
Three different ways she employed herself
as the cart jogged and rattled over the broken
road. With her ears she took in tlie terrific
information it was none of her wish to acquire ;
through her whole frame she shuddered at the
inevitable death in store for her at the hands
of a man who had proclaimed himself Sir Wil-
liam Judkin's murderer, and, almost in the same
breath, marked lier out as another sheep for the
slaughter; and during this mixture of listening,
despairing, and chattering, her lips moved with
all the rapid flippancy of long practice, and of
her habitual gossiping, softly articulating, once
and again, the round of prayers to which for a
whole life they had been accustomed, and which
they could pronounce, letter by letter, without
much inconvenience to the agency of the mind,
and indeed, with only a vague idea of devotion
accompanying the process. More fervent, be-
cause more extemporaneous, ejaculations for
mercy occasionally broke up, however, lier
parrot-like orisons, as some tremendous view of
her doom caused her to give an extraordinary
cringe, and more freely drove out the cold
moisture through the pores of her fleshy fore-
THE CROPPY. SS
At length the cart halted. She would have
preferred that it should jolt and shake her
until doomsday. She and her encasement
were gently shoved off the vehicle, and came
with a shock to the ground ; and then, scarce
conscious, she expected the moment of her
fate ; yet, partly by an unwilled warping of her
features, partly from an instinct that the most
abject of all abject prayers for mercy was her
sole hope, sho-t of a miracle from above,
Nanny lay, prepared for the rising of the lid,
utter humility and penitence in her attitude
and face, and the words of a heart-rending peti-
tion ready to burst from her lips, while the
" ugh, ugh," of her heart increased to a gal-
The lid, however, was not so quickly raised.
She became half aware that an unexpected
pause occurred between her and her last trial.
Then the voices of Nale and Sam were distin-
guished by her ears, at first conveying no words
to the failing sense; but gradually the poor
Knitter rallied into sufficient self-possession to
hear what follows :—
" They ought to be here wid the hommer
by this time, if they come by the short cut."
84 THE CROPPY.
" Falx, an' so they ought — bad manners to
Vm when they do come. An** I hope they '11
meet their reward."
*' What 's the rason you say that, Sammy ?"
questioned Nale, with a grin of intelligence.
" By the deed, how bad they are in want of
silver dishes for their praties ; it 's a great sin
to give sich dacent things into their paws, Bill
^' Nauhocklish, if we don't have the biggest
share, Sam ; supposin' 'em to the foure, you an'
I, lad, must get the first haul.""
** Yoursef, by coorse. Bill, afore me."
''Yes,— I think the first thing that's to be
saized on, 'ill be Bill Nale's, any how."
" Ay, by the deed, to make pipe-stoppers of
id, if you like."
Ail this was keen cutting to the poor "first
thing that was to be saized on."
*' Faix an' deed, an' we b'lieve this 'ill smash
the thick schull of id, an' let us never mind the
hommer,'' said Sam, approaching with a large
stone between his hands: "there now," laying
his burden on the chest, mounting after it, and
again raising and poising it over the middle cf
the lid, — and certainly, had he let it drop, not
only would the " schull,'' of the massive coffer
THE CROPPY. 85
have been stove in, but the skull of our old
friend along with it.
But Nale, casting his watchful eye to the
brow of a neighbouring height, called out —
" Hould your hand, Sam ; pitch it on the
The authoritative tone of his chief, Sam
durst not disobey, and the stone was accordingly
flung wide of the original mark. Nanny after-
wards visited the spot, and found the huge
piece of rock bedded deep in the soil ; and the
poor old woman knelt at its side, and offered up
very fervent thanksgivings, that it had not
descended as was at first planned ; for, if it had,
it must have " m.ade poor ould Nanny, my
honey, as flat as a pancake."
" Stop, Sam ; I see four or five pikemen
crossin' the ridge, on their way to the croppies'
camp, I 'm thinkin'— jump down and hide here
wid me ; if they meet us in our yeoman clothes,
we 're gone men.
The two rascals stooped on hands and knees
by the side of the chest turned from the height.
Nanny piously prayed that the croppy detach-
ment might quickly descend to the by-road
with good pikes in their hands. She was dis-
a])pointed. Taking off his warlike helmet, and
86 THE CROPPY.
using just one eye round the angle of her
dungeon, Nale soon ascertained that the wan-
dering peasants were passing out of view with-
out having noticed the horse and cart, or the
important article which lay near to both.
" We must jest wait for the hommer afther
all," resumed Nale, when it was prudent to
arise from his crouching position ; " or folly me
down here, for a start, Sam, an" I'll tell you
more o' the matther."
Nanny heard them walk away, and the rest of
their conversation was lost to her ear. But the
reader may proceed after them a few steps to
the brink of a sand-pit, and then down its
abrupt side, until at the bottom of the excava-
tion he hears Nale resume.
" The mornin"* is too bright, Sam, to pull
out the ould silver dishes in a place that many
more people may soon cum upon. Besides,
the young schamp I want to lay hould on is
gone to Enniscorthy town, an' I must obey
ordhers, and be off to keep an eye on him —
an** more be token agin, you must dhrive the
horse an' cart towards Dunbrody wid this other
little thrunk, in no time, as I tould you last
night — don't daare to look glum at me now,
THE CROPPY. 87
bud listen how it 'ill be. You see this hole —
pointing almost to his feet — " where the great
lob o' pikes were put to hide, afore the risin';
we'll jest shuv the chest down here, an' cover
id wid the sand, an' when the night falls agin,
we '11 come back an' smash it, betuxt our-
selves, nate an' quiet ; an' when Morrissy an'
Redmond walks this way wid the hommer, ex-
pectin' their share, why they can have what
the cat left o' the bacon, you know. So help
a hand, Sammy, an' none o' your foolish looks,
I bid you."
Nanny soon caught their returning steps.
Then she became av/are that, with much la-
bour and difficulty, they dragged her and her
prison some little distance forward ; and then,
as they allowed their lumber to find its own
way to the bottom of the pit, it was well for
her that it had been massively constructed, and
bound with iron plates at the corners, or surely
it must have burst open from the violence of
its abrupt descent ; and it was likewise fortu-
nate for Nanny that she had little room to jolt
from one end to the other ; for, although occu-
pying nearly the whole extent of her dark dun-
geon, her head and her foxy hat struck so
88 THE CROrPY.
smartly against the end which first rushed
downward, that consciousness momentarily de-
parted from her.
She regained her senses at experiencing a
second terrible shock through her entire frame,
caused by the sudden lowering of the chest
into the deep hole to which, until the return
of night, Nale had destined it. Not having
heard the last communication between the two
knaves, she could not remotely calculate the
nature of her late hideous evolutions. In
vague horror, alone, she remained just sensible
of a sudden plunge from the surface of the
earth ; but whither, or for what purpose, was
impervious and astounding mystery ; for aught
she could tell, the earth might have opened
and swallowed her, a thousand fathom deep,
or she might have fallen fronr its verge Into
the terrors of the other world.
But, after rallying her powers of observation,
she soon decided that nothing so very fearful
had happened to her. A dripping, grating
noise sounded on the lid of — it may now be
called, her coffin — and once more she heard
Nale saying, " A little 'ill do, Sam ; jest as
mooch as hides the top, an' then these bushes
THE CROPPY. S9
an' briars 'ill keep it berred as snug as my ould
" Berred !" — cogitated Nanny.
" There," he continued, and the noise of
throwing the sand upon her ceased — " there ;
that 's clane an' purty ; — an' now come, Sam,
an' we can make out a hommer for ourselves."
They left her, already stifling and gasping,
to decide which death she would choose, suffo-
cation in her premature grave, or braining with
the hammer, if indeed she outlived their re-
turn, short as must be the time she concluded
they would stay away. And no doubt poor
Nanny's sufferings had soon ended in the man-
ner first mentioned, but for a providential and
yet only natural interference.
Redmond and Morissy, the two associates
despatched by Nale from Hartley Court, to
provide the heavy hammer for breaking open
the chest, were not without their doubts of his
intentions to deal fairly by them. BilPs well-
known, and indeed undisguised, character war-
ranted such suspicions; and the men came to
positive conchisions when he directed them to
proceed to a certain spot, by a route different
from that he proposed to take himself, with
90 THE CROPPY.
the horse and cart. His pointing it out as a
short cut did not allay their fears of his con-
summate knavery and selfishness. They com-
municated their ideas to each other, and re-
solved upon a counter-plot. Leaving him, in
seeming willingness to procure the sledge, they
returned quickly in his track, dogged the
horse and cart stealthily during its whole
journey, concealed themselves when it halted,
overheard the treacherous conversation about
themselves between Bill and Sam " with the
stick-leg," (the only name or appellation we
could discover as attaching to that very doubtful
individual,) watched the subsequent proceed-
ings of the worthies, and, the moment they
were fairly out of view after interring Nanny,
the men came forward, one of them at least
determined to act a brave part.
Having previously arranged in their place
of concealment, to go to work promptly, they
scrambled in silence down the steep pit, and
began to remove, without speaking a word, the
bushes and sand from the lid of the chest.
The poor buried alive was recalled, by the
noise, to the exercise of nearly the last mental
observation she remained capable of making.
She lay on her knees and elbows, her mouth
THE CROPPY. 91
open, and her head moving up and down to
every painful gasp of the thick air which she
laboured to force through her lungs. But
although the noise slightly restored her to a
sense of existence, it by no means communi-
cated a hope that existence was to be prolonged
a single instant after the opening of her coffin ;
for Nanny believed she was still in the hands
of her cruel enemy. Heavy blows succeeded
to the former scraping and shuffling over her
head, each skilfully directed by Dick Red-
mond, so as to force the lid upwards : thev
were successful ; it half opened ; there was a
rush of warm vapour from within, and a rush
of pure atmosphere from without, of which
Nannv took a lonor, renovating; draught ; but
with lier rallied feeling of life came instanta-
neously her horror of what she had at last to
encounter ; and in the useless instinct of avoid-
ing the eye of her executioner, she quickly
resumed her squatted position, and drew her
head as closely to her body as she could, — the
head of her cloke slipping, with the long-prac-
tised jerk, over her ears, — as the tortoise,
which in her present attitude she much re-
sembled, will, in case of attack, draw the most
exposed part of his body under his shell.
9^ THE CROPPY.
" Now for id, Daniel, my daisy," cried Dick
Redmond, as in high spirits he flung wide the lid
of the chest. Nanny heard him not. He peeped in
— he opened his eyes: he stared again ; but could
not attach any certain idea of form or of nature
to the object that met his view. Daniel, who all
along had been suffering under the fear of Bill
Nale's future wrath on account of the course he
dared to pursue in this adventure, and whose
misgiving heart finally relinquished every hope
of escaping detection by a man he believed well-
known to the devil, if he was not the devil him-
self; — Daniel remained rather in the background ;
his tremours only relieved by a covetous anticipa-
tion of the sweet jingling sounds that he con-
cluded were to meet his ear, and the shining
and splendid treasures that lie thought were to
dazzle his eye.
" Is there mooch ?'' he timidly asked, while
his companion still stared into the chest.
*' Sing toij oi , iddle-dee, toi, i, ee.
" Hah, hahj hah, fol, dhe-too-rol-lee!"
answered his more vivacious comrade, singing
the chorus of a merry song, of which each verse
presented some droll idea, subsequently enjoyed
in the " hah, hah, hah !''
THE CROPPY. 93
" Don't let the soighth iv id make you take
lave o' your senses, Dick/' resumed Daniel, now
" Well, there's no use in talkin', Bill Nale,"
Dick went on ; " you are the biggest rogue
that ever was hanged ; if this is not makin'
gandhers iv us, divil a gandher in the world,
but all grey geese ;" and Redmond seemed
highly to enjoy the supposed jest.
^^ Arrah, what's come over you.'^" questioned
the serious Daniel Morrissy.
" Musha, Daniel, my poor fellow, however
the duoul he done id, Rattlin' Bill Nale dhrew
every bit o' the threasure through the boards o'
the chest, either while we turned off a minute
or so, purtendin to go for the hommer, or at
the very time we thought we were watch-
in' him along the road— by coorse, the bouchal
had the kay unknownst to any body — an' see
here — here's what he laves for yoursef and
mysef — a bundle iv ould rags, not worth a
Keenogue ; an' all the time he an' Sam talked
iv chatin us, they knew we were widin hearin',
an' the whole o' that talk was jest to make us
think they left the threasure behind 'em. Well,
Bill, you 're a deary iv a bird."
" Bud isn't id like an ould bag o' blue cloth .''"
94 THE CROPPY.
asked Daniel, at length peering in ; " an' may-
be the goold an' silver is inside iv id."
" By gonnies, maybe so ! thry."
Daniel cautiously laid his hand on our still
crouching friend ; she gave a painful moan, and
feebly moved her head.
" Oh-a — oh-a ! what the duoul is that.?"
cried Daniel, jumping backward.
" What ! did the bag bite you .?"
" It 's alive — it 's himself is in id, I b'lieve,''
whispered the superstitious fellow.
«' Who .?— Nale .?"
" Yes, his ownsef ; it 's as likely as any."
" Bother, Daniel," laughed Dick ; " bud
stop — supposin** it is, 1 11 see how he '11 take a
clipe o' this hommer by way o' payment for
chatin us ;" and he stepped to the chest.
^^ I'm a poor ould lump iv a sinner, my
honey pet," petitioned Nanny, with a face of
the most wretched intreaty that ever sinner
wore, as she was raised from her position of
terror and vain concealment by the athletic
arms of Dick Redmond — '^ I 'm a poor ould
lump iv a sinner, my honey pet," she re-
peated, still imagining she addressed another
person, — " an' may the marcies meet your
clarlin"* sowls in glory above, an' give marcy
THE CFtOPPY. 95
to ould Nanny this day — may loock an' grace
come peltin' an' powrin in your road every
day you get up from your bed ; may hard
fort'n be broke afore you — an' may riches
galore* be rainin' on you, till you won't know
what to do wid id !" —
^' Why, then, tundher-an'-bloody-wars !"
cried Dick Redmond, utterly amazed, — nay,
very nearly frightened as he looked into the
agonized face he held up to his own view, —
'^ an' is this you, ould Nanny the Knitther?" —
" Ah, then it is, God help me !^' she answer-
ed, in a voice wonderfully changed and assured
at the blessed conviction that she was not in
the gripe of her persecutor ; and now, Nanny
had got on ^^ her hunkers," and, with her
hands closely clasped, waved from side to side,
— " an' thanks for ever be to the holy Name,
isn't id the honey darlin' Dick Redmund I 'm
spakin to ?" —
An explanation ensued. Dick relished the
^' An' by rason you once sthrove to get me
a good wife, ould Nanny — 'twas no fault o'
year's that she turned out conthrary — you done
your best — I '11 help you out o' your coff'n,
* In abundance.
afore Bill Nale comes back — there/' placing her
on the ground — " an** taste this, to rise your
heart/' — administering some whiskey out of a
small viol — " an' now, run for your life while
your legs 'ill last."
Nanny acted on the advice as strenuously
as she was able. In pity to the old creature,
Dick assisted her up to the edge of the
^^ Good bye, my honey pet, an' the Lord
grant you your reward in glory for ever, amin,
— an' my honey, Dick Redmond, when • you
come across him, there'll be no use in tellin'
him what kind iv a load he had the throuble o'
carry in' so far."
" Never fear, Nanny — say nothin' about us,
an' we '11 say nothin"* about you — it's the best
play to keep sacrets on both sides — an' so, take
your heels while you can."
Though much bruised and battered, as well
as exhausted, the rejoicing dame literally set
forward at a pace between a trot and an amble,
Dick shouting after her —
" Run, your sowl, run ! he 's afther you !
he '11 have you if you don't put the stumps to
the best o' their knowledge !" —
But little additional exhortation was required
THE CROPPY. 97
to keep Nanny at her utmost speed in an effort
to remove, as far as possible, from the scene of
her direful troubles. Mumblino^ thanksmvings
at every step, she panted and perspired along ;
and, at the very first opportunity, turned off the
road, and made her way over intricate paths,
and through the most lonesome places, towards
a friend's cabin — the nearest at hand, no matter
which — for where was the cabin under whose
iiumble roof Nanny had not a friend ?
The house of refuge appeared in view. She
slackened her pace, drew breath, and began
somewhat distinctly to cogitate. Now that her
own life seemed respited at least, if not quite in
her possession, thoughts of the information, as
to the fate of ^' Lady Eleezabeth Judkin, bar-
rowknight," gleaned from the conversation of
Nale and his associate, arose in her mind, and
with them a really disinterested anxiety to suc-
cour her captive patroness. *^ The honey Sir
Wilham, too !" must she not exert herself to save
him from the terrible fate with which he Mas
threatened ? — Doubtless, the danger of " makin'
or meddlin'," was great ; it seemed little less than
wilfully precipitating herself into some dilemma
as fearful, and perhaps more fatal, than that
from which she had just escaped. But suffering
VOL. III. F
98 THE CROPPY.
seemed to make Nanny's heart magnanimous.
'^ What good was her ould end of a life," when
put in competition with that of her beloved
young *•' bennyfacther/' and Sir WiUiam Jud-
kin.P God would guard her — or, if it was ^' the
holy an' blessed Will" that she must suffer,
" why, then" — and tears of sympathy with her
kind, and even with her own forgotten nature,
purer than for twenty 3^ears she had shed, ob-
scured the old woman's eyes, — " why, then,
Nanny's part 'ill be gone through, an' that 's
The result of her determination will be found
developed in a future chapter.
THE CROPPY. 99
While Nanny arranges her plans, we are at
liberty to visit our heroine in the house to
which, as we have learned, through the Knitter''s
agency, from Bill Nale's conversation with his
worthy confidant, Captain Talbot had caused
her to be conveyed. Indeed, it seems our duty
to accompany her thither ; — nay, recollecting the
imperfect accounts of her motions supplied to
Sir William Judkin, first by '' the poor girl wid
the good karacthers," and next by Miss Ahcia
Hartley, a plain detail of all her adventures,
from the moment she left her father's mansion,
immediately after her marriage, is called for at
Until that day, Ehza Hartley — as, notwith-
standing her increased consequence in the world,
we shall, with the familiarity of an old acquaint-
ance, continue to call her — until that day, Eliza
Hartley had never known real sorrow. Beloved
100 THE CROFPY.
by her father, petted by her aunt, adored by
her servants, flattered by all her friends^ life
had been to her a time of continued sunshine,
a season of laughter merely, during which she
never laid her head on her pillow with a thought
for the morrow, unless, indeed, it might have
been an anticipation of some little pleasure, of
which the enjoyment should be deferred until
daylight again smiled on Hartley Court. Had
Nature formed her heart of indifferent mate-
rials, an existence of such unchastened happi-
ness, — nay, of almost unrestrained self-indul-
gence, might have proved dangerous to the de-
velopment of her character: haughtiness, ob-
stinacy, and indolent pride, might have resulted
from it ; above all, mental strength and energy
might have been frittered away amid idle pur-
suits, and the fuss of petty whims and impulses.
But Eliza's heart was shaped in the mould of
perfect feminine goodness ; and great vivacity,
and a gaiety that seemed like levity, but was
not what it seemed, appeared the only distinct
impress made upon her character by a course of
life under which other women would have be-
come unamiable. True, her gaiety often pro-
voked more severe criticism from unfriendly or
envious tongues ; and we, her best friends, must
THE CROPPY. 101
admit that, hitherto, it had occasionally caused
her to act without thought, or, obeying the im-
pulse of a moment, to fling aside something she
really prized for a chace after something that
could but momentarily fill her fancy, and was
not calculated, upon reflection, to content her
nature. Still we cannot bring ourselves to be
very harsh on her only fault ; for if she was
gay because fortune treated her too indulgently,
she was so too, because she was innocent — inno-
cent in mind, in feeling, in the unconsciousness
of a single thought that could make her other-
" The innocent are gay."
Upon the morning, therefore, when Eliza
changed her name, and with it saw herself
driven from the sunny paths over which she
had previously tripped in a round of unbroken
enjoyment, adversity did not find in the spoiled
child of fortune a weak girl who could do no-
thing but tremble or rail at the vicissitude.
On the contrary, there suddenly appeared in
Eliza a courage and promptitude fitted for the
occasion, of which the principles, eternal within
her breast, had hitherto slumbered, only because
they had never needed to show themselves. In
102 THE CROPPY.
one hour she passed out of the playfulness
almost of childhood into the steady energy of a
woman, who, for the sake of those that loved
her, and that she loved in return, was prepared
to dare much without fear, and to suffer all
Having dried her vain tears, and put off her,
as vain, bridal garments, the first impression of
her now thoughtful mind convinced her that
the preliminary step to any effort she might be
called on to make, ought to consist in seeking a
conference with her father and her husband.
With a deep composure, which surprised all
around her, she bade adieu to her bridesmaids,
ordered her carriage to the door, and preceded
by her aunt, who involuntarily acknowledging
her right to act, and her power to protect, pe-
titioned not to be left behind, Eliza slowly
ascended the step, and desired to be driven to
the castle of Enniscorthy.
It did not occur to her that she might be
refused admittance. Hitherto, wherever she
had gone, Eliza had found officious eagerness
smoothing the way before her. The carriage
stopped before the entrance-gate of the tempo-
rary prison ; she dismounted, and requesting
her aunt to wait for her return, drew her veil
THE CROPPY. 103
over her face, in order to disguise it from the
bold stare of a group of yeomen assembled
near at hand. Not thinking it necessary to ask
permission to pass, she was entering the gate,
when the rude and ill-clad sentinel, lowering*"
his rusty musket and bayonet, abruptly de-
manded, " Who are you, an' where are you
She stepped back, shocked at the interrup-
tion. It was the first rudeness that had ever
been offered to her. But the quickly curbed
tears which started to her eyes did not spring
from mortified vanity ; their source lay higher,
in the apprehension, that from those whom she
came to serve, and whom she felt she could
serve, her presence was interdicted.
Regaining her carriage, and taking a mo-
ment to think, Eliza spoke from the window,
desiring that some officer who had authority to
admit her might be sent out. The sentinel took
no notice whatever of her request, or rather
command, and the unoccupied band of yeomen
only stared more boldly than before, some of
them leering and winking on each other. With
mock respect in his tone and manner, one of
them at length answered that her ladyship's
orders should be obeyed : in consequence of his
104j the croppy.
delivery of the message inside, an officer ad-
vanced, however, to the carriage, and Eliza
shrank back in horror and despair, when in that
officer she recognized Talbot. His step was
not firm, his lips were white, his eyes quailed
even beneath her veiled glance, with, as Eliza
believed, the cowardice of conscious guilt.
" I have the honour to await your commands,
Madam/' he said, after standing some time un-
noticed by her at the door of the carriage.
" I understand. Sir,"" she forced herself to
reply, " that I must demand permission from
some one in authority to go in to see my father
and my husband."
" It is indeed necessary that you should do so.
Madam," he answered, in a calmer voice than
that in which he had at first spoken ; as if the
hauteur of her address had brought back the
unwincinff sternness of his nature.
" Then, Sir, please to order yonder saucy
fellow to let me pass."
" I regret, Madam, that your wish cannot be
" What, Sir !"— and she started up from her
leaning position in undisguised terror, — '* are
Sir Thomas Hartley and Sir William Judkin to
THE CROPPY. 105
be shut up from the visits of the daughter and
" Yes, Madam ; such must be the case."
" Impossible, Sir ! — send your commanding-
" Excuse me, Madam, — but, in this instance,
there is no one to contravene my orders."
" Your orders. Sir ! — and these inhuman
orders emanate from you !"
" They are my orders, Madam."
" God help me, then ! — and God help the
poor prisoners left at your mercy !''— She again
sank back in an agony of despair, and, covering
her face with her hands, deep and long moans
Captain Talbot seemed suddenly touched ;
— he trembled ; — he approached closer to the
window, and, in a faltering voice, too low to be
heard by Miss Alice, said —
" Oh ! why have you not come alone ? — why,
this moment, can we not speak fully together ?
— Ehza! beloved Eliza!"
She interrupted him ; — starting as if an adder
had whispered at her ear, and flung back her
veil, that, with an eye authoritative and stern,
and now not moist with a single tear, she might
106 THE CROPPY.
" Wretch ! — wretch, as well as villain, leave
my sight !"
He stood irresolutely. She peremptorily
waved her hand, repeating — " Begone — be-
gone !" He was about to obey, apparently
shrinking from her presence.
" Stop, Captain Talbot !" cried the weeping
Miss Alice. Eliza again hid her face, but she
did not interrupt her aunt. Although, in her
present mood, she could not bend her own out-
raged spirit to sue to Talbot, the object to be
prayed for was worth some humiliation.
'' Oh ! Captain Talbot," petitioned the sob-
bing old lady, clasping her hands together,
" surely you will not be so cruel as to refuse us
this favour ? I know, I know you will not —
you will have pity on us — us, two ladies whom
you often sat with at the fireside, and who are
as unused to beg any favour, as they are unable
to bear the great misery that now visits them.
Oh ! take our thanks, our hearts'* thanks, and
admit us to comfort the poor prisoners !"
EHza slowly let her hands fall, and gazed
upon her former lover, to note the effect of this
appeal in his features. But his brow only
seemed knit into its purpose; all his former
THE CROPPY. 107
apparent vacillation was gone, and he carelessly,
but steadily, replied —
" Madam^ I can only repeat the regret I feel,
that duty obliges me to — '^
" Drive to the inn !" cried Eliza, again in-
terrupting him. As the carriage turned away,
he bowed profoundly, and quickly re-entered
For a time, Ehza's pride, energy, hope, and
resolution, quite failed her, and, on the way to
the inn, she indulged, along with her aunt, in a
shower of bitter tears. Agony and despair rent
her bosom. She had felt, and she continued to
feel within her, a resolution to brave any danger
in the performance of whatever effort her husband
and her father might suggest as necessary to
their safety ; but that, by this refusal to admit
her to their presence, she could not direct her
zeal, her devotion, and her firmness, upon any
course of which they might aoprove, or which
might be beneficial, Avas an overwhelming-
thought. And her feelings gained their height,
wdien she farther reflected on tne nature of the
charo^e under which her father and her husband
had been imprisoned ; — on the fate that awaited
them if that charge could be established ; or.
108 THE CROPPY.
amid the blind fury of the time, even made to
look plausible ; on the promptitude with which
punishment would follow conviction ; and, above
all, on the ominous success which had so far
attended their enemy's measures, and which,
calculating by the power he seemed to wield,
and the savage determination he still evinced,
appeared but a presage of his complete triumph,
and of Ehza's utter misery.
Gaining the inn, while filled with these
thoughts, it was only natural that, strong in
previous energy and resolution, as we have
described her to have been, Eliza should sink,
momentarily overpowered, by the woman's fears
and pangs for those she loved, and by profound
despair on her own account.
Miss Alicia, although in the first instance
helplessly overpowered, wanted, luckily for her-
self, the ardency of feeling that makes a wreck
of the youthful bosom ; for, with the decay of
physical capacity to struggle, Nature^ deadens
the susceplibihties of age. Keeping up, there-
fore, only her strain of impotent lamentation,
she could now administer some necessary com-
fort to her almost insensible niece ; and in this
view she rang the bell, when the girl " wid the
good karacthers" answered it.
THE CROPPY. 109
About twilight, having often and vainly sent
in the meantime to gather intelhgence of the
proceedings at the castle, Eliza was roused
from her despondency, by the intelligence that a
person wished to speak with her on important
business. The only important business con-
cerning which, in her mind, any one could
desire an interview, must refer to the situation
of her father and her husband ; and she
accordingly desired the visitor to be admitted.
A woman of tall stature, muffled and hooded
in the common Irish mantle, but not more
carefully or remarkably than it is often worn,
entered the chamber, and stopping almost at
the threshold, addressed our heroine in a low,
" You are the daughter of Sir Thomas
'' I am." Eliza could utter no more, for the
solemnity of the stranger, in deportment as
well as in accent, although her face did not be-
come discernible, conveyed anticipations of sad
tidings to be spoken.
" I would converse with you, Madam,*" con-
tinued the woman impressively.
" Begin then."
110 THE CKOPPY.
*' This lady is my aunt,'' said Eliza.
" It matters not ; no third person must share
our interview, and the business I come to com-
municate requires immediate attention, Madam."
" Indeed, my good woman," pleaded Miss
Alicia, " if you come to say any thing concerning
the dear prisoners at the castle, it v/ill be cruelty
to exclude me from the conversation."
"You judge correctly. Madam; my commu-
nication relates to them, but only to Miss Hart-
ley can it be made ; you may hear it from her,
not from me : such are my directions, and I
cannot and will not permit an exception."
" Are you aware that I am Sir Thomas
Hartley's sister ?"
"Yes, Madam, but that is nothing to the
purpose. I perceive your niece grows uneasy
at our delay, — please to leave us together."
" Do so, dearest aunt, for indeed I am on the
rack to learn what this woman has tu say to me.""
" You will not exclude me long ?"" again peti-
tioned Miss Alicia.
'*Only so long as is absolutely necessary for
the punctual delivery of my commission, Ma-
dam ; I am as anxious as you can be to have
the matter over, for pressing affairs call me to
THE CROPPY. Ill
Miss Alicia retired, but only to the next
apartment; and there, strong were her yearn-
ings to listen at the door to the discourse in
which she had been denied a share ; but her
high and pure sense of honour struggled with her
feminine, and, under her circumstances, almost
allowable curiosity, and finally she rejected the
It would have done her no good had she
yielded, however ; for, the moment she passed
out of the chamber, the woman latched and
bolted the door, and, stepping somewhat nearer
to Eliza, held out a letter in her hand, as she
" This, Madam, is for you, and from your
'^ From my father !" cried EHza, snatching
it, her whole attention diverted from the person
of the bearer.
" Even so. Madam. It may seem strange in
your eyes that a person of my appearance should
be employed to hand you so important a docu-
ment — one, indeed, upon the safe conveyance of
which you will learn much depends ; but, in
the present times, the person least likely to be
suspected was the most proper to be chosen,
and I am therefore its bearer. Read it, Madam,
112 THE CROPPY.
and read it quickly ; turn round to the window,
and there is yet dayHght enough for the perusal
— time will be lost by calling for candles."
EHza quickly adopted the hint, and with all
the eagerness of hope and fear ran over the
contents of the epistle, which were as follows : —
" MY DEAREST CHILD,
" I find that a deeply laid plan has for some
time been preparing, chiefly by one desperate
individual, to get up some plausible evidence
of a connexion between me and the insurgents,
in order that I may be dealt with as a traitor to
the State ; and I fear too, my dearest Eliza,
that from the short time allowed me for my
defence, as well as from the fact that I have to
encounter private malignity at the hands of
every one around me, it will be impossible to
establish my innocence of the unfounded charge.
^' But check your rising terrors. I would
not so abruptly communicate this intelligence,
did I think that the results were to be fatal
to me. Let me assure you, that except a tem-
porary shade upon my character, and a short
separation from you, I have really nothing to
fear. My arbitrary judges may indeed de-
clare me guilty, and more, may sentence me
THE CROPPY. 113
to death, but their sentence will not be exe-
cuted upon your father. I am positively cer-
tain of escaping it. From them indeed, or
from one of their party, I expect no mercy ;
but Almighty Providence, the friend, of the
innocent, has raised up a champion for us in
our great trouble, Eliza. We are to be saved —
you as well as I — (and you from worse than
the fate to which I am nominally doomed,) by
a person, the last upon earth we could have
calculated on for such a service. I cannot ven-
ture to insert his name ; for if I did, and if my
note miscarried, his destruction as well as mine
were inevitable. Enough, that I fully and
tranquilly depend not only upon his friendship,
but upon the plans he has formed for my
safety. This niglit I shall be freed from prison,
and before the morning dawns shall be in a
place of concealment beyond the reach of my
enemies, where I am to remain only while our
friend causes powerful application to be made
to Government for a speedy reversal of my
sentence; then, my character justified, and my
person safe, I can resume my station in society.
" Now, attend, Ehza. All this is not only
possible, but certain, provided you unhesitat-
ingly adopt a specific advice, which I am about
114 THE CROPPY.
to offer you : — decline that advice, or even dally
with it, and our ruin is not less certain. But,
first, a few words of explanation.
" I have said tlxat you also were threatened
with a terrible fate — one more terrible than
that prepared for me. This is but too true.
It has been attempted to seduce you to 1 will
not — cannot write any more positive allusion to
the diabolical matter ; and even prudence again
reminds me that, for a reason before given, I
had better not do so. But credit the solemn
Avords of your father, uttered on no light
grounds. Destruction surrounds you in your
present unprotected situation ; — avoid it — fly
from it, instantly and without hesitation — that
is the advice I said I would give. Prepare to
escape privately from Enniscorthy, this very
night, to an asylum which is ready to receive
you. And now let me add why your father's
safety depends on the decision you make. If
you hesitate to obey me, I must, after my
escape from prison, remain, at all hazards, to
watch over you, and, as long as I may be al-
lowed to discharge the duty, shield you from
the demon who would destroy my precious
Eliza ; this will almost certainly cause my re-
apprehension, and then indeed hope were gone
THE CROPPY. 115
for ever. Obey me, therefore, for both our
sakes; I use the strongest terms of command,
because none others will convey my urgency ;
nor do I yet deem, Eliza, that I have forfeited
over my child the authority of a parent.
" Prepare yourself, I can only repeat, and
freely trust yourself into the hands of those
whom I shall send to guide your flight. After
you leave Enniscorthy some distance behind, I
will myself meet and accompany you to your
journey's end, disguised however from the view
of a strange man who is to lead us by lonesome
ways with which I am unacquainted, and to
whom, as he does not share my confidence, it
might be fatal to give the slightest suspicion of
my identity. Farther, prudence, and the im-
portant results which are at stake, will oblige us
to interchange fevv words on the road, and those
in whispers ; — nay, I must even try to assume a
feigned voice, lest the man may be acquainted
with my usual accents. In the minutest par-
ticular, caution is indispensable — for, recollect
how much depends upon perhaps our least
action ! Your happiness — honour — life — the life
of your father, and (I should have considered
it before my own) that of the noble-hearted
friend who dares all to succour and save us !
116 THE CROPPY.
" I must not conclude without another injunc-
tion. This communication is to be kept strictly
secret from your poor aunt ; nor must she know
of your arrangements for leaving Enniscorthy,
nor that you are to leave it. She might fall
into the hands of your enemy, and, in her pre-
sent distressed and enfeebled state, drop some
one word that were sufficient to re-transfer us
all to the fate we try to avoid : and besides,
she could not endure the fatigue for which you
are better able to nerve yourself. Farewell, my
dearest Eliza! — The bearer is fully in my
confidence, — Farewell ! — May the Almighty
Father protect the dear child of the fond and
Shivering terror, astonishment, joy, hope,
doubt — every variety of feeling, appeared by
turns on Eliza's brow, as she perused this
epistle. She laid it on the old-fashioned seat
of the window ; she put her hands upon her
eyes — the woman saw her start expressively :
again she examined the writing ; it surely was
her father's hand— less distinct and elegant,
indeed, than that to which she had been accus-
tomed ; but hurry and agitation might account
THE CHOPPY. 117
for the difference. She hastily read the letter
a second time, and doubted more strongly than
before : she could not tell why, but, to her
mind, a certain unauthentic strain ran through
it ; and Eliza felt inclined to refuse assent, or
even consideration, to the extraordinary propo-
sitions it contained.
But chilly alarm possessed her at the reflec-
tion that still it might have been written by
her father ; and if so — and if she hesitated to
obey its commands ! — Eliza sank overpowered
at the thought. A third time she took it up.
Now she had little or no doubt of the hand,
and the diction and style seemed less strange.
She looked towards the bearer of the important
writing. The woman had resumed her station
at the door, and Eliza could see nothing of her
person and features, enveloped as both still
were in her ample cloke, and farther obscured
by the deepening twilight. It occurred to her
to ask her visitor to put down the hood of the
mantle, but good feeling checked the impulse ;
and indeed good sense too ; for, if the letter
were genuine, its bearer must be trust-worthy,
inasmuch as the writer had said she fully pos-
sessed his confidence.
118 THE CROPPy.
After a moment of useless observation, ElizA
breathed out — '' Am I to receive no instruc-
tions beyond what this letter conveys?"
'^ Any circumstance with which I am ac-
quainted, and not interdicted from mentioning,
you may know. Madam."
** Have you no other note ? — from no other
*^ I have, indeed, been charged with another
note. Madam ; — strange that I should forget an
important part of my commission !'" and pacing
forward, she put a folded scrap of paper into
Eliza's hand, hastily written over with a pencil,
and containing these lines : —
" MY DEAREST LOVE,
'* Fear nothing on my account : the only
cause for my arrest is the pretext to separate
us ; but I cannot be detained from you longer
than to-night. My only apprehensions are, that
in the mean time you may be exposed to the
machinations of a villain. Keep yourself con-
cealed from his view — fly from him — escape
him, by every means, until you are protected
Your adoring husband,
THE CEOPPy. 119
Of the genuineness of this note, Eliza had
not a doubt ; and her heart grew tranquib
almost joyful, with hope. She laid the scrap
of paper upon the more lengthened epistle,
which it seemed fully to authenticate, and look-
ed round for writing materials.
'* There is one matter, Madam, which Sir
William may not have mentioned."
" Pray, pray state it !"*
" This night he also regains his liberty."
" May I not ask who is the blessed agent of
his and my happiness ?''
" I can only tell you, Madam, that he shall
be freed from Enniscorthy castle by the same
hand that helps to open the door of your fathers
" Then, perhaps, I may meet with him, along
with my father?"
" No ; that is improbable— impossible ! He
cannot escape for an hour after Sir Thomas
Hartley ; and yet"" — the speaker paused, and
her voice momentarily took a cadence that
started Eliza — " and yet, you may see him to-
" To whom do I speak T' Ehza half arose in
120 THE CROPPY.
'* To one who will befriend you and yours,
young lady ;" and Eliza'*s romantic surmise
" 'Tis time I were back to your friends,
Madam : have you resolved upon your answer
to Sir Thomas Hartley ?''
" I have— I will implicitly obey my dear
father. You shall convey to him my written
answer to that effect."
" Is not your verbal answer sufficient. Ma-
dam ? He has informed you that he confides in
me ; — I may, therefore, be trusted with it : and,
in a case where the utmost precaution is ne-
cessary, the less writing the better. I do not
fear that I shall be suspected during my visits
backward and forward from your father to
you ; but the chance is possible, and, there-
fore, by all means to be avoided, when a single
line under your hand might destroy all our ar-
" You are right," answered Eliza, gaining
still more confidence from the seeming careful-
ness and earnestness of the negotiator.
*• You are right, good woman : remember,
then, the very words I say. But first, can you
tell me the names of certain persons alluded to
in my father's letter.?'*
THE CROPPY. 121
" I can, Madam ; but, for the present, I am
not permitted to do so."
*' Then take my message. — I am well, re-
joiced at my father's prospect of safety, and I
will implicitly obey him."
" Depend on my delivering it, word for word,
Madam. — One other observation is necessary :
Sir Thomas Hartley has not, I believe, men-
tioned the hour at which you are to hear from
him again V
*' No ! or it could not have escaped me."
" At ten o'clock, then. Madam, you will be
prepared for your departure from Enniscorthy.
Attire yourself for a journey on horseback Be
prudent and firm, and keep your own counsel,
and all will go well. For the purpose of baf*
fling your aunt's curiosity, you had better in-
vent some probable story."
" What ? woman!" interrupted Eliza, "coun-
sel me to utter an untruth ! My father never
instructed you to do so ; nor would he give his
confidence to one whose nature and habits per-
mit such advice. Ah ! your letters may be
forgeries ! There are such things, as well
*' Then you waver in your resolution ?'*
*' I — I know not what to do."
VOL. III. G
122 THE CltOPPy.
" Your message shall be faithfully delivered,
young lady; — at ten, be ready to steal from
this house with me, or — be accessary to your
father*s death V The abrupt stranger was about
to leave the room.
" Stay r cried Eliza — " you will also see the
writer of the pencilled note ?"
" Yes, Madam."
" I hope so."
" And can also deliver a message to him
from me .?"
'* To him, — from you .?"
" Yes, from me to my beloved husband."
The woman''s last answers had been given
very calmly, though expressively ; but now it
was in a rude, if not fierce tone that she quick-
ly answered — " No ! not a breath !" — and so
saying, she left Eliza alone.
THE CROPPY. 123
Her aunt did not give Eliza much time for
solitary reflection : and her question of — " Well,
dear child, what — what have been the tidings ?"
proposed a difficulty. During our heroine's
whole life, she had never spoken an equivoca-
tion ; and little praise is claimed for her on
that account, for she had never had any thing
to conceal from the indulgent and virtuous
friends about her ; — the fact is mentioned merely
to show, that by habit as well, we hope, as by
nature, she must now have utterly rejected the
notion of deceiving her aunt with the " some
probable story," just recommended to her adop-
tion. Nor could she be silent ; and how, then,
answer ? — " Plainly," concluded Eliza ; and re-
ferring to her father's letter, or to the letter
that purported to come from her father, she
read out that single injunction, which com-
124 THE CROPPY.
manded her not to communicate to Miss Alice
the intelligence it contained.
The old lady was of course much surprised,
and startled, and grieved, and afraid. " What
could be her brother'*s motive for refusing his
confidence, in misfortune, to one from whom,
in days of happiness, he had never withheld it ?
— her dear child would at least explain that.*"
No — because by so doing she must absolutely
reveal the nature of the secret deposited exclu-
sively in her breast. — " Very extraordinary
still ; unkind, cruel of Sir Thomas. Well ; —
but what, generally speaking, were the situa-
tion and the hopes of the poor prisoners .?*" —
Their situation not dangerous, and their hopes
lively. — " Praised be the Lord ; — oh, for ever
praised f' and the good lady knelt down, in
the sincere fervency of her heart ; — " and Sir
Thomas'^s letter answered for the dear Sir W^il-
liam as well as for himself?" — Not so — but an-
other letter did ; and Eliza handed the pencilled
note to Miss Alicia.
This partial confidence, slight as it really
was, operated upon the querulous old lady as
does, upon a fretful child, the permission to
catch up some plaything of little moment, in-
stead of the valuable article for which he had
at first raised his tiny cries. While dwelling,
THE CROPPY. 125
word after word, upon Sir William''s scrawl,
Miss Alice forgot how ill she had been treated
by the withholding the more important docu-
ment from her scrutiny. Her heart swelled
with pity, admiration, and love of the writer.
" The considerate, the fond, the gallant Sir
William ! how her soul thanked him for the
comfort of that little note ! But — Heaven, in
its mercies, protect us ! — could it, and Sir Tho-
mas's letter too, have been written only to give
assurance to Eliza and herself ? — could the dear
prisoners, in compassion for them, agree to
communicate hopes that had no real founda-
tion.^"" — EHza, at much length, combatted the
unreasonableness, as well as the refined misery-
seeking of this conjecture. " Well ; thank God,
her darling child thought so ; 'twas a great
blessing that such was her opinion : but, again
— and she prayed a good Providence to prove
her fears vain — might not Sir Thomas's letter
be a forgery? Na}^ even this note." — She
drew near to the lights, and, adjusting her
spectacles, re-examined the pencilled lines —
" they were just like Sir William's hand, and
no more — just as like as a skilful knave could
easily make them ; — blessed Goodness ! was her
dear child quite, quite sure of the handwriting
of the letter ?"
126 THE CROPPY.
This surmise and question proved more dis-
tressing to Eliza than any of the preceding
ones had done; yet she answered, that, in-
deed, she had very carefully scrutinized the
letter, and her conviction was that it must be
genuine. As to Sir William's note, she enter-
tained not the slightest doubt of it ; his hand
was a very peculiar one, and could not possibly
be imitated, so as to deceive her at least ; and,
in fact, her dear aunt unnecessarily afflicted
herself by such surmises ; — " and now, dearest
Madam," continued Eliza, " I will retire for a
little while to reflect and to pray ; for I need
the most cool exercise of my mind, and the
most merciful help Heaven may be pleased to
vouchsafe me:" and accordingly she left the
chamber, and in solitude endeavoured to form,
positively, her determination.
** The one desperate individual" who had
plotted against her father's life, could be no
other than the ^^ enemy" who had also sought
her destruction — who, in fact, in order to get
her into his power, had diabolically contrived
the arrest of Sir Thomas and of her husband —
*' but," said Eliza, detecting herself arguing in
a circle, '^ if I take any assertion from that letter,
so as to reason on it, I must first suppose the
epistle genuine, and then my dilemma would end
THE CROPPY. 12^
at once : and, hold — do I not here see started the
strongest possible reason to believe it written
by my father ? If a forgery, it can have been
forged only by that " one desperate individual,"
that detestable ^^ enemy," and would he thus
She started up, delighted at the thought.
Joined to its other internal evidence, there could
no longer be a doubt of the authenticity of the
letter. She would, without farther hesitation, —
nay, in hope and joy of heart, act upon it.
** And yet," still whispered her womanly
prudence and fears — ^^ a consummate villain
would hit even upon that finesse, in order to
make it look more like the truth — in order to
secure his one long-sought object, for which he
has already bid adieu to character in every
shape, in order" — and she dropped trembling
into her chair — " in order to beguile a wretched
woman, far from her protectors, and from all
For some time Eliza could but shudder and
shrink at the bare idea of committing her-
self to the guidance of the questionable person
who had dehvered the letter, and hasten, at an
advanced hour of the night, most probably, into
the very arms of destruction.
" But here is the awful question," she con-
tinued, laying down the document after she
had again pored over it — '* the probabilities,
whether it be genuine or not, are pretty nearly
equal : the life of my father may^ then, be in my
hands ; and should I hesitate ? If, through my
selfish fears, the beloved author of my existence
were again to fall into his enemies' grasp, could
peace of mind ever visit me ? Must I not
regard myself as that coward daughter who
feared to risk a chance of personal injury for
the equal chance of saving her father? Oh,
God !" she cried, falling on her knees, and
stretching her arms towards Heaven, while
the ennobling nature of the struggle, and the
deep-felt reliance upon Him whom she suppli-
cated, gave a holy expression to her beautiful
features — ^^ Father of All, guide my feeble rea-
son, enlighten my imperfect nature, raise my
selfish heart, that, in this first necessity for a
proper exercise of my judgment, I may decide
as thou wouldst have me do !"
Covering her face with her hands, she bent
humbly before the Great Power she invoked,
and for some time remained silently in that po-
sition. When she arose and seated herself, her
countenance, though pale, was calm and firm ;
and not without a mild glow of joy fulness, she
THE CROPPY. 129
felt as if the Mighty Intelligence, of which her
soul was an emanation, had been present to it,
and iniparte<l the power to decide : and as per-
sons will do in sohtude, who have come to a
fixed resolution, after a strong mental combat,
Eliza breathed out her purpose aloud. ^^ The
risk shall be run. His arm will shield, even
amid danger, the child wdio would save her
father. In the name of God, let me prepare
for my journey ! It cannot lead me into harm.
And now I do not fear my enemy. There is
a strength given to me beyond his strength.
Either we are not to meet at all, or I shall over-
come him if we do."
Wearing a brow of steady resolve, she joined
her aunt, and spent nearly the two succeeding
hours in endeavouring to inspire the feeble old
lady with hope and confidence. Meantime, to
say that, even after all her high-minded deter-
mination, her own bosom remained unagitated
by relapsing doubts and fears, would be to
exaggerate Eliza into a commonplace heroine
About half-past nine o'clock, an account of
the result of her father's trial was brought to
her by a messenger sent from the inn. Sen-
tence of death had been recorded against
130 THE CROPPY.
him. Hesitation once more passed away.
She would dare every thing for the merest
chance of warding off the execution of that
Of the going or coming of the particular per-
son who conveyed these tidings, Miss Alicia
had been unaware : Eliza privately employed
him, and as privately met him upon his return
from the castle; so that her aunt could ask no
questions concerning whatever intelligence he
might communicate. To other individuals dis-
patched with the knowledge of the old lady, her
niece now sent orders not to approach the inn.
And as she sat at the side of the bed where
poor Miss Alice at length lay powerless, her
feeble eyes closing in slumber which she vainly
resisted, and presently opening to inquire if
the messenger had returned, Eliza was thus
enabled to withhold information that, while she
cherished a hope it might prove harmless, she
feared could not at present be given to her aunt,
without endangering her life.
Eliza stealthily looked at her watch. It
wanted but a few minutes to ten. Finding her
heart sinking, she once more knelt, and once
more gained resolution. Still on her knees, she
softly took her aunt's languid hand, and kissed
THE CROPPY. 131
it ; and then arose, and cautiously bent over the
bed to regard the long-loved features which she
micrht never ag-ain behold. Miss Alicia slum-
bered, but as Eliza a second time impulsively
caught vip her hand, awoke, and their eyes met.
" I hope you feel sufficiently warm, my dear-
est aunt," she said, in a choking voice, while
she ardently pressed the hand she held. Miss
Alicia's reply was scarcely audible, yet it spoke
gratitude and assurance, and her weak fingers
feebly returned the pressure of which they were
just sensible. Her eyes closed again. Eliza
stole out of the chamber, gained her own, and
hastily proceeded to array herself for her peril-
A riding-habit formed no part of the attire
she had brought with her from Hartley Court ;
but she could clothe herself warmly, and not very
inconveniently. As the last article of dress was
arranged, the clock on the lobby began to strike
ten. Again she looked at her watch ; it also
indicated the momentous hour. Instinctively
she pressed her right-hand to her heart, while
yet the strokes rung on, and turning round faced
the closed door of her chamber. The tenth
stroke had scarcely been told, when it was fol-
lowed by a single heavy knock at the outside of
132 THE CROPPY.
the door. She started, catched her breath
shortly ; but, after a pause, desired the chal-
lenger to come in.
" 'Tis I ; come you out to me," answered the
low voice of her former visitor.
At once closing with her purpose, boldly and
courageously, Eliza opened the door, and saw
the woman standing in the gloom at the head of
the stair. Ehza held a hght in her hand.
" Leave the candle in the room, it may draw-
observation ; and then come closer here, while
we exchange a word."*^
Eliza passively obeyed these directions.
" By your preparations for the road, I see
you have not altered your mind," continued
the woman, when they stood together at the
stair-head in the dark.
'' I have not," replied Eliza firmly — ** lead
on, I follow you ; if I am betrayed. Heaven
will punish my betrayers."
A slight scoffing sound, made by the breath,
escaped the woman before she continued ; —
" You have nothing to fear; act resolutely, and
you will bless the night I led you from this
roof. I even bring you assurances of my ho-
nesty. What words are these ? — ' God bless
you ! my love, and may you live to bless the
THE CROPPY. 133
husband of your choice longer than did your
Eliza indeed recollected them, as words ad-
dressed to her that very morning by her father,
while she hung upon his neck after the "mar-
" And you ought to know this ring," resumed
the woman, giving one ; — " step into your cham-
ber, and look at it.''
Eliza did so, and at once recognised it as her
" Nay, I forgot," said the woman's voice at
the door, as she flung a note across the narrow
room, over EHza's shoulder, so that it rested
upon the table — " read that, and then delay no
Eliza tore it open, and read —
" MY BELOVED CHILD,
" I am free ; — I wait to see you under a safe
roof; then I must hasten to my own conceal-
ment — only for a few days, however. Follow
the bearer, a tall woman in a dark-grey cloke ;
she will guide you to
Your happy, but anxious father,
134 THE CROPPY.
" I follow you/' whispered Eliza earnestly to
the guide, after having again joined her in the
shadow of the lobby.
The woman, making a sign to be cautious,
looked down the stair, and listened ; then, giv-
ing another sign, she descended. Eliza softly
trod in her steps, and, without being observed
by any one belonging to the house, found her-
self in the streets of Enniscorthy.
The guide rapidly paced through the town,
our heroine still following. Bands of yeomen,
showing rather alarmed anticipation than for-
midable preparation, patrolled the streets, in
expectancy of the attack we have already no-
ticed. As yet, only imperfectly acquainted
with the theory of warlike defence, their sense
of the coming danger was chiefly manifested
when they stopped to listen to an unusual noise,
or cried out to the inmates of the houses to ex-
tinguish their lights, or issued their mandates,
that all persons not authorised to bear arms,
and wearing the very suspicious garb of civil
attire, should remain within-doors; or gave what-
ever other orders they vaguely, and often erro-
neously, supposed might conduce to success in
combat. And upon one or two occasions, Eliza's
THE CROPPY. 135
conductress showed great presence of mind, in
so guiding her charge as to avoid sometimes
detention, and sometimes questioning, by these
anxious and zealous patroles.
They safely passed the lower part of the
town, and glided through the thatched suburb,
where all was still, and every one had seemingly
retired to repose, although within every darken-
ed hovel many an ear listened earnestly for the
expected sounds of rush and tumult. At the
very last cabin of the outlet, the woman halted,
and tapped at its door. The latch was up-
raised, and a man appeared.
" Bring out the horses," said the guide.
*^ Where is ray father ?"" asked Eliza.
" Hush !" was her companion's sole reply.
" He enffacred to meet me, and he is not here,"
urged the anxious daughter.
'* Be cautious of your words. Madam ; none
must hear you name his name ; fearful danger
would attend it."
The man brought out two horses.
" You will mount one of them, Madam,"
continued the woman. Ehza hesitated. " You
will mount, or your father returns to Ennis-
corthy, and is lost," she continued.
136 THE CROPPY.
" I have ventured thus far, and I will brave
the result, in Heaven's name," thought Eliza,
and she gained her saddle. Her companion was
quickly seated in the other.
" Still follow me, and fear not," she whis-
pered, and put her animal to a brisk pace.
Eliza was a good horsewoman ; but she found
herself equalled, if not excelled, by her guide.
Their rapid journey continued in silence ; and
it might be after about a quarter of an hour's
riding, during which Eliza perceived that their
course first lay northward from Enniscorthy,
and then wheeled a short distance to its south-
east, that, just on the ascent of a little one-arch-
ed bridge, they suddenly halted. The banks of
the considerable brook it spanned were thickly
wooded, forming a gloomy ravine, in which the
dark summer's night grew darker, and which
afforded a fit place of concealment to any one
careful of avoiding observation.
" Advance !" said Ehza's companion, still
speaking in a controlled voice, although she
turned it towards the dusky dell.
The noise of horses' feet was heard within the
gloom ; two mounted men emerged from it, and
were shortly on the road. As they approached,
the woman addressed Eliza in a whisper.
THE CROPPY. 137
*' I now leave you, Madam, under your
father's protection. Be not doubtful, even
though a daughter's eye can scarce recognize
him in his disguise. In the short time afforded
for all our arrangements, it was impossible to find
at hand a guide for your and his farther jour-
ney, who might be intrusted, beyond the slight-
est doubt of possible treachery, with the know-
ledge of your father's person ; his present com-
panion does not therefore know him ; and be-
ware how you betray the secret to the man's
observation. Some whispers may be exchanged ;
but every thing like conversation must be avoid-
ed. Farewell, Madam ! I return, in speed, to
liberate Sir William Judkin. You and I shall
meet again :" and turning her horse's head, she
rode back towards Enniscorthy.
In the person who now drew up beside Eliza,
yet at some distance from her, she endeavoured
to recognize her father. Although some doubts
did spring up in her heart, she believed it was
indeed he. He wore the great outside coat of
a peasant, of which the stiff, standing-collar
closed before his face, while a broad-brimmed
hat flapped down into his eyes. But, after si-
lently regarding him through the darkness of
the night, EHza was almost sure she caught the
138 THE CROPPY.
peculiar mien of her beloved parent ; and it
could not be a vulgar hand which managed the
spirited horse he bestrode.
While yet she looked, he spoke in a whisper.
" My beloved child has acted like herself.
None but my own noble EHza could have thus
proved her own character ; but I reckoned on it,
when I addressed her ; and by courageously
exercising it, she has saved us both."
" Why, then, tunder-an'-turf," interrupted
the guide, rudely pushing forward; and his
manner proclaimed a low-bred, and not a gentle
peasant. " Misther, whatever it 's plaisin to
you to call yoursef, if you 're goin' to go, don't
stop spakin down in your throath there, becase
you have a wheezin** all the night long.''
'* You see we must be cautious,*" again whis-
pered the object of this remonstrance. " I am
not skilful at a feint ; and though I strove to
adopt a natural tone while disguising my real
one, this man at once discovers it to be an affec-
Eliza had certainly listened in vain to catch
some cadence of her father''s voice ; now, how-
ever, she thought she should know one or two
accents of this second whisper.
" My dear father," she replied, as softly as
THE CROPPY. 139
the softest voice could breathe the words, when
the man had re-assumed his place in front, " I
would not deserve the name of daughter had I
disobeyed your command ; and I implored the
council of my God, and, I think, acted under
the dictates He vouchsafed to whisper to my
The rude guide again became impatient, and
Ehza was now addressed, not in a cautious
tone, by a voice which was quite strange to
her; '^ Well, let us proceed as fast as our
horses can travel ; we have no time to lose."
" Faith ! an' you may say that, Misther-wid-
the-tongue-in- the- wizen, if you don't want to
wait for the daylight to kitch us : a thing, I 've
a notion, you 'd rather let alone."
" On, then. Sir !" and the party set forward.
Eliza's companion rode within a cautious dis-
tance of her bridle ; his attentions, as far as it
seemed prudent to bestow them, evincing all
the kindness and watchfulness of sincere affec-
tion. The rapid rate at which they held on,
would of itself have prevented continued dis-
course, and only a few whispers still were inter-
changed between them ; or, if they began a dia-
logue, the guide surely slacked his pace, what-
ever might be his motive, evidently that he
140 THE CROPPY.
might overhear it ; perhaps he was merely curi-
ous to ascertain the identity of his fellow-tra-
vellers ; and, upon the appearance of any such
attempt, increased caution became necessary.
Eliza's companion also seemed of himself in-
clined to fits of reflection, and half-checked sighs
often escaped him.
On one occasion, while thus apparently ab-
stracted, and while the guide seemed less inqui-
sitive than usual, Eliza addressed him, '* You
appear depressed, my dear Sir/'
" Ehza, when removed from you, even though
for a short time, I must tremble with anxiety
" May I not know the exact nature of the
danger to which you will still believe me ex-
posed. Sir .? If once aware of it, I could better
nerve myself against it."
" You will, alas ! know it too soon. At pre-
sent — see — it is impossible."
The man turned round to say, that as the
road grew better, they must still increase their
speed. When the next respite occurred, Eliza
gently whispered, *' I am naturally anxious
about my husband. Sir."
Her companion started.
THE CROPPY. 141
" Your husband ! — hah ! — Certainly, cer
tainly, you must be, Eliza ;'* and he was silent.
" My words seem to have startled you, Sir ?"
" Startled me ? no, child : why should they ?
why should you not be anxious ?"
*' I have heard that this night he too should
escape from prison."
" And you have heard truly."
'' And that it was probable I should see him
" See him ! to-night ! no, no, no ; — but, par-
don me, Eliza, I cannot answer without agita-
tion — dreadful agitation : it may be a long time
before you see him.''
" And why so, my dear Sir? you alarm me."
'* Your question involves the former expla-
nation which you required of me, and therefore
cannot at present be answered — judge for your-
self — this fellow again interrupts us."
" Heaven protect us all ! for I see we are all
yet surrounded by some frightful danger," said
Ehza, and they pushed on in silence.
This was the longest discourse that occurred
during a rapid journey of about fourteen Irish
miles. Most frequently they struck from the
high-road into narrow ways, and often swept
14S THE CROPPY.
over fields through which no beaten track mark-
ed the route. It is not in this place necessary
to present the features of the country, now
under the shadow of night ; enough to observe,
that the travellers hurried through scenery of
the same general character with that which has
elsewhere been given as common to the County
of Wexford ; up and down many ascents and de-
scents, and within view, though indistinctly seen,
of many eminences, bare or wooded ; and some-
times through tracts nearly barren : for, even so
late as about thirty years ago, no part of Ire-
land had arrived at the degree of cultivation it
now can boast.
With tolerable accuracy, it has been ascertain-
ed, that nearly at the hour when Sir William
Judkin set off from Hartley Court, in a vain
search after his bride to the town of Enniscorthy,
that young and lovely bride was much fatigued
with her long and rapid ride, ascending a wind-
ing avenue which led to a respectable-looking
mansion seated on a green ascent. And as she
turned her head over her shoulder, Eliza saw to
her left hand an expanse of water, dimly shown
by the reflection of the sky over its bosom,
which could not be called lightsome, but rather
just a shade less dark than the hills and plains
THE CnOPFY. 143
it overhung ; and covering another green emi-
nence, opposite to that on which the house was
situated, and ascending from the edge of the
water, appeared, vague and shapeless, a massive
pile of ruined building.
^' Where are we, Sir ?" she asked.
'* Yonder, my dear child, is your house of
refuge : to your left are the ruins of Dunbrody
Abbey, which the morning hght will present to
you as a noble object in the landscape. I will
but see you to the threshold of your asylum,
Eliza ; and then, while the darkness yet favours
my escape to my own place of concealment, we
must bid each other adieu.''
^^ And whither do you go, Sir ?"
'' I must be seen only by one confidential
person,'' answered her companion, as if evading
her last whispered question, or perhaps he had
not heard it, — " to no other will I intrust my life :
and believe me, Eliza, my great anxiety to pre-
serve that life is with a view of making it useful
to you ; for it may still happen that you will
require my guidance and guardianship."
'* Your words again alarm me. Sir. — Oh,
speak, Sir ! my husband !"
The guide had knocked loudly at the door
of the house, to which they were novv very near ;
144 THE CROPPY.
it opened, lights appeared from it, and the man,
turning in his saddle, seemed closely watching
'^ We must part, Eliza ; I leave you in safety
— it depends on yourself to continue secure from
danger. Stir not from the house until you hear
tidings of me again. — Farewell ! — I must not
even touch your hand, my child — the fellow
notes us two closely — nor can I venture nearer
to the light of the door. God Almighty bless
" And protect you, my dear Sir,"' said Eliza,
as he turned his horse's head.
A man and woman, both elderly, holding can-
dles in their hands, and having the appearance
of respectable domestics, now stood bowing and
curtesying to Eliza at the hall-door. The man
stepped out to assist her to dismount. When she
touched the ground, she turned round to catch
a parting glance of her father. He also had dis-
mounted, at some distance, and seemed prepar-
ing to bestride a fresh horse. The obsequious
servant ushered her up the steps to the house.
At the door she again looked back ; it seemed
the same figure that a second time met her eye,
indistinctly discerned through the gloom, ex-
cept that, along with the loose peasant's great-
THE CROPPY. 145
coat, a horse-hair hehiiet now took place of
the former slouched hat. The variation made
EHza curious. She gazed more attentively.
The person stooped as if to examine one of
the hoofs of his horse. In the action, his hel-
met fell off, and the lights held by the do-
mestics streaming out at the same moment
through the darkness, fell on his uncovered
head, and fitfully revealed to Eliza a much-
dreaded countenance. Stunned at the view, or
perhaps, fancy, she staggered into the hall;
faintness was closing on her heart ; — at the
thought of whose house she entered — the house
of Talbot — of the individual she believed she
had just beheld — Ehza made an effort, how-
ever, to rush out; but the heavy door was
suddenly shut on her, and retreat cut off.
146 THE CROPPY.
That she had been betrayed — that the letter
delivered by the woman had not come from her
father — that the companion of her rapid ride
was not her father — that, remote from friendly
aid, she was in the power of her enemy, while
the two dear beings for whom she had dared
all, and lost all, still remained in prison, or,
perhaps, had by this time ignominiously ended
their lives — these were the conclusions that in-
stantly forced themselves upon Eliza.
And, with quick combination, everything now
seemed to add proof of the appalling facts. In-
stead of her father attempting to use a feigned
voice, she contemplated his treacherous repre-
sentative as trying to imitate her father's real
one, and depending upon her credulous belief
of the first case, to hide his occasional, indeed
general, failure. The interference of the guide to
hinder their protracted discourse on the road, had
THE CROPPY. 147
been planned, as part of the system of deception.
Her companion's frequent fits of abstraction,
and his expressive sighs, as they rode along,
indicated, not the anxiety of a parent, but the
presumptuous aspirations of a lover, with, per-
haps, some struggles of remorse, or at least, of
doubts and fears of her future estimation of
him, or of the consequences of his outrageous
conduct. And how could she have been so
infatuated as not to have properly understood
his start and agitation when she mentioned her
husband's name, and his whole evident disin-
clination to interchange a word concerning Sir
Trembling upon a seat in the hall, horror and
despair wholly possessed Eliza at the first view
of her situation. But she brought to mind
that, before leaving the inn, she had resolved to
take her chance of either of two results, and to
brave her fate, should the present one ensue.
This thought rallied her, at least out of a state
of mere weakness and inanity. Then she re-
flected, that if she was lost, so were the only
beings with whom she could ever wish to share
life ; and Eliza told her heart to prepare for
destruction with them. With them ^ Nay, for
them ! The idea completed her triumph over her
148 THE CROPPy.
position, and despair changed into desperation ;
and terror and yielding into the stern pride of
" Won't you walk up-stairs to your nice
room, my lady ?" asked the female servant,
with a very respectful and even tender voice.
Eliza raised her eyes and closely scanned
her two attendants, as the one curtsied to the
ground, and the other bowed profoundly. Both
were attired, and demeaned themselves, as de-
cent upper-servants of that day, and nothing
about either gave the notion that she was
immediately in the hands of those who would
treat her rudely or even unkindly. On the
contrary, if appearance could at all be trusted,
and Eliza's recent experience seemed to warn
her that it seldom could, the man and woman
equally showed a benevolent, respectful sympa-
thy with her situation, which might well inspire
She arose from the hall-seat, and stood firmly,
to her full height, before them, as she inquired
with calm dignity,
" In whose house am I ?'^
" In a house, my lady, where hurt or harum
daa'r'nt come nigh a hair o' your head," answer-
ed the female, still curtseying.
THE CROPPY. 149
*' But who is its owner ?"
" We 're bound up not to spake about that till
the time comes, my lady ; only it 's owned by
one that 'ud turn the world inside out to make
pleasure for you, ma'am, and that 'ud no more
hurt you, my purty lady, than he 'd chop the
head offiv his own showlders/''
" Answer directly to my question — does this
house belong to Captain Talbot, and is it by
his agency I have been conveyed hither ?"
The man and woman looked at each other,
as if mutually endeavouring to ascertain the
reply that should be given, and Eliza began to
give up her slight confidence in them ; or per-
haps they were only surprised at her question ;
she would see.
" We don't know the bould Capt'n you 're
spakin' about, ma'am, no more than we know
the man in the moon : who is he, I wondher,
Robert ?" said the woman.
" Who is he ?" echoed Robert, hesitatingly,
" I b'lieve I hard till o' sich a Capt'n, Nelly,
some time or other ; — but, my lady — " and he
bowed his powdered head very low, until his
loyal queu protruded horizontally from his
shoulders — " if it 's in your mind to think that
ould Robert manes you any thing worse tlian
.150 THE CROFPy.
goin"' about this house, on his two bare knees,
to do every command you '11 put on him, may
them same two legs be cut off this moment, an'
thrun' out in the yard for the dog's supper.
Have thrust in us, my lady ; do, my lady^:
we're honest ould sarv'nts, my lady, an' we'll
lose the life for you, dhrop by dhrop."
" Ah, then, my purty, darling lady, do,
an* you won't be sorry — " urged the female,
with so much earnestness that tears, sincere or
artificial, stood in her eyes; and Eliza remark-
ed that while Robert spoke his voice sounded
quiveringly, so that the two old domestics
must be very excellent actors, if she was not, to
them, at least, an object of pity, and, so far as
they were able to afford itj protection.
Almost instinctively, therefore, at the wo-
man's repeated entreaties, she ascended the
stair, her attendant now smiling very officiously
and benevolently, and seeming one of the most
affectionate beings alive.
" And here it is, my lady," entering a large
sleeping-chamber ; " and here 's as nice a bed as
'ud do the Queen o' Morocco to lie down in ;
but no wise too good for the lodger it '11 have
to-night. I'll bring you tay, my lady, or sup-
per, or I'll help you to undhress, or any other
THE CROPPY. 151
comfort you 'd have afther your journey, only
say id, my lady.*'
" Do you persist in refusing to inform me
into whose house I have been conveyed ?"'"*
" We couldn't be tellin' that yet, my lady ;
indeed we couldn't ; an' it wouldn't be for your
good to know id, the pra&ant time ; but he 's the
thrue friend of you and yours, an' don't be un-
asy, my honey lady : I 'm a mother, an' the mo-
ther o' daughters, too, an' I '11 give you lave
to say that any one of them is a disgrace to
their mother, an' by their mother's own fault,
too, if ever you find me doing or saying towards
you what I shouldn't do or say."
" Can you tell me any thing of my father ?"
" Ah, then, nothin' very particklar," answer-
ed the attendant, adroitly hiding some sudden
agitation ; " only Robert was sayin** he was
safe an' sound, my lady."
" Perhaps you have heard Robert mention
another person — Sir William Judkin ?"
*' Never a word, then, my lady ; but I 'm not
euros, all out."
" Well — I do not choose to be assisted in
preparing for bed — leave the lights, and retire,"
Eliza did not, indeed, seek repose. Although
her body was fatigued and harassed, she could
152 .THE CROPPY
not quell her mind to that quiet necessary for
sleep. Besides, in her present very doubtful
situation, waking and watching were her part,
rather than slumber.
Had she indeed seen her dreaded foe.? was
she in his power — in his house ? Might it not
be possible that her boding, disturbed state of
mind only conferred upon other features, amid
the darkness and the hurry of the hour, a
likeness to those which haunted her imagina-
tion ? The appearance and manner of her two
attendants certainly strengthened the conjec-
But why should they refuse to name the
proprietor of the mansion in which she was?
If thev did not fear that she would dislike to
hear his name, how arose the necessity for their
pertinaceous silence ? And what name but one
could sound odious to her ? Again Eliza re-
lapsed into all her first apprehensions of trea-
chery ; and again the picture of her father and
her husband, brought to an ignominious death,
rose so vividly before her fancy, that she started
up as if to confront a real occurrence.
Thus employed during the few hours of the
night, the summer morning found her still
waking ; and, notwithstanding her previous re-
THE CKOPPy. 153
solves to nerve herself against the event, still
wretched and trembling. Her eyes were red
with scalding tears, as she arose unconsciously,
at the first summons of the dawn, and looked
from her window : and although the old abbey
of Dunbrocly, an extensive mass of monastic
ruin, would at another time have interested
her, EHza heeded it not ; nor, although a great
portion of her enjoyment of life had hitherto
been drawn from the beauties of outward Na-
ture, did she now dwell with pleasure on the
fine expanse of water beneath the old ruins'
green ascent, nor transfer her admiring glance
to the wooded heights, near and remote, some
vaguely expressed in the yet lingering mists of
the night, some glowing and sparkling in a
contrast of sunny clearness.
The uncertainty of her predicament chiefly
harassed Ehza. That she was the victim of
a plan to separate her from her only friends,
while they should be destroyed in her absence,
seemed the most likely case ; yet it was not
fully proved ; and ifj taking it for granted, she
should attempt and succeed in an escape, and
if, after all, it turned out to be the fact, that
her late movements and her present situation
were indeed guided and chosen by her father,
154 THE CROPPY.
the result of her precipitation might be terrible.
Then, in reality, she might fall into the hands
of the enemy, from whom it had been her pa-
rent's care to shield her— nay, and then, indeed,
that parent might be exposed by her to inevit-
Partially, a guiding thought struck upon
Eliza. Sir William's note — which she could
not bring herself to suspect as strongly as she
did the letter purporting to come from her
father — advised concealment until he could fly
te- her assistance ; thus he seemed to have been
aware of a plan to convey her to a place of
safety; if so, he would be with her in the
course of that day ; for the woman, and the
person calling himself her father, had permitted
her to reckon confidently upon Sir William's
deliverance from prison before the morning,
and Eliza would await his coming in resig-
She would be watchful, too; observe more
closely the real characters of the servants in
attendance upon her, and, if possible, gain
from them more information than they had
Having thus arrived at something like a con-
clusion as to the course of action it befitted
THE CROPPY. 155
her to pursue, Eliza's mind grew comparatively
calm, although not with the calm of assurance.
For the first time, she cast her eyes observantly
around her. She was in a bed-chamber ar-
ranged with all the elegance which should dis-
tinguish a lady's. Two doors opened from it,
one into the landing-place, another, as Eliza
ascertained by a glance, into a dressing-room.
Both these she secured ; and closing the shat-
ters on the beautiful prospect that could not
attract her, yielded at last to a natural wish
But it was a broken slumber that visited her
pillow. Her own agonised groan, half-sound-
ing upon her ear, often assumed, corresponding
with a frightful scene rapidly conjured up to
eke it out, the dying and despairing cries of
those she loved ; and she would start, and
awaken, and rise up on her pillow to fix her
eyes on objects that seemed actually present
with her. Nature will often, indeed, like a
tender nurse, cradle the most wretched to re-
pose, permitting the beguiled fancy to enjoy
prospects of bliss of which the waking mind
dares not entertain a hope ; but with Ehza it
seemed as if, in cruel sport, true perception
was extinguished only for the purpose of pre-
sentinff to her mind exao^ijerations of her real
She could not tell how long her unrefreshing
sleep had continued, when she was awakened
by the noise of some wheeled carriage, near the
house. Arising, in eager anticipation, she flew
to the window, opened the shutters, and look-
ed out. It was but a cart pasing down the
avenue, driven, however, by a man whom,
under some circumstances disadvantageous to
liim, or disagreeable to her, she vaguely re-
membered to have seen before. In fact, she
beheld Sam Stick-leg, leaving the house, after
having delivered, according to the orders of his
chief, the ^^ little thrunk," which, along with
Nanny's chest, helped to load the cart both
had driven the previous night from Hartley
Turning from the window, much disappoint-
ed, and alarmed afresh, though she knew not
distinctly ^vhy, at this man's appearance, Ehza
heard a cautious step in the dressing-closet ;
and, before she had recovered from her start,
a respectful tap sounded at the door inside,
and the obsequious voice of her female attend-
ant requested admission. Ehza opened the
door and entered the little apartment. To her
THE CROPPY. 157
surprise it appeared furnished with all the ele-
gancies of a lady's toilet — some of them her
own ; and, following Mrs. Nelly's arrangements
about the room, her astonishment gained its
height, when in a wardrobe to one side she
discovered the individual habiliments she had
left behind at Hartley Court.
She demanded an explanation of this mys-
tery ; but Mrs. Nelly would only inform her,
that ^' the purty things were sent by them
that 'ud turn the world inside-out to make
pleasure for her."
Eliza, according to her plan, proceeded, as
cautiously as she knew how, to elicit from the
woman the information she had before sup-
pressed ; but except a reiteration that she was
in a house where all were her humblest slaves,
and where " Robert 'ud give out the last dhrop
to keep away hurt or harum from her," Mrs.
Nelly guarded her secret. And Eliza's suspi-
cions sprung up anew at this obstinate equivo-
cation ; and, notwithstanding that the old dame
seemed so good-natured and even matronly in
all her little attentions, still there remained a
doubt that she was acting a part of specious
The day was wearing away without any ap-
158 THE CROPPY.
pearance of Sir William Judkin, or any account
from him, and Eliza'^s terrors and misgivings
returned in treble force. Yielding to an unde-
fined impulse, she left her chamber, and walked
through the house. It was tastily and richly
fitted up. The thought of escape occurred very
strongly. She looked round to observe if she
was alone: Mrs. Nelly, curtseying to her
glance, stood at the door of the extensive
drawing-room, into which Eliza had last walk-
ed. She quitted the apartment, and continued
to explore the mansion ; and now her duenna
watched her every movement, and Robert also
was often encountered, bowing very low when-
ever Eliza noticed him with her eye, while at
each bow his absurd queu poked out from his
** I am a prisoner,'' thought Eliza; *' let me
She approached the hall-door. It was lock-
ed, and the key removed. She required it to
be opened, stating her wish to walk towards the
'' Ah, then, my purty, purty lady," cried
Mrs. Nelly, ^' sure you couldn't think o' sich a
thing, — the runes ! ay, the runes an' the runa-
tion entirely ; how do you know, in the wide
THE CROPPY. 159
world, who'd come across you, my lady ? — Oh,
my gracious goodness ! sure that 'ud be goin*
in the way o' liarum, sure enough.""
" I will make the trial — let me have the
" The kay doesn't be wid me, my lady ; it's
Robert shets the dours ; he 's a careful man :
but for goodness sake, my lady, don't go for to
put yourself in the way o' them that 'ud do you
hurt an' harum."
^* That's my affair, good woman : if, indeed,
you have been directed to act as my servant,
obey my orders."
" Ah, then, it 's I got my good commands,
my lady, to go undher your feet wid love an'
honour, sure enough ; an' I'd rather to run o'
your arrands nor if it was the Queen o' Moro-
co was bidding me — "
" Why, then, refuse me the key ? I will
seek Robert myself."
But Robert was not far off. Eliza discovered
by Mrs. Nelly's glance that he stood close behind
her own back ; and as quickly turning round,
she detected him staring with distended eyes at
his fellow-servant, and distorting his mouth into
a kind of anxious grin, while by raising his arm,
and urging it downward, he enforced the mean-
160 THE CROPPY.
ipg of all his grimace, well understood by Mrs.
Nelly, as an exhortation not to give up her point.
When suddenly discovered by Eliza going
through this dumb-show, he started in the ut-
most confusion, and then observed, giving his
usual profound reverence,
^' The kay, my lady ! the kay o"* that dour ?
oh— ay, the kay ; I wondher where is it ?"
looking beseechingly at Mrs. Nelly, who stretch-
ed out both her hands, and said, in her most
" My gracious goodness, my lady, for the
love of all the things in the world wide, don't
be keepin' hould o' that thought — sure they 'd
run away wid you from us."
" Who, my lady ? that's what we 're bound
not to tell."
'^ Then if you refuse to inform me who or
what I have to fear, I must doubt your story —
and I will go forth : — the key, Sir ?"
" Ah, my lady,we couldn't, w^e couldn't."
" Then I am a prisoner.'^"
** A prisoner, my Lady ! Lord save us,
Misthress Nelly, sure her ladyship isn't a pri-
'' My gracious goodness, my honey, darlin'
lady, an' sure you 're not — only we 've as good
as sworn down on the buke to keep you out o'
hurt or harum."
" An' my lady,'* seconded Robert, '^ out o*
hurt an' harum you '11 be kep ; there isn't one
undher the clouds this day, or any other day,
'ill daare to look sour at you, while the size o' a
midge o' poor ould Robert is to the fore."
" But after all, you will not give the key."
Having received anew a firm though obse-
quious answer in the negative, Eliza hastened up
stairs, all her worst apprehensions overpowering
her. Mrs. Nelly follov^ed her quickly with
protestations against the thought of " hurt or
harum" being meant. Eliza re-entered her bed-
room, too closely pursued by the old woman to
allow of excluding her, and unable to hold out
any longer, sank in a chair, and gave way to her
excessive grief. Mrs. Nelly threw herself on
her knees before her, and covering her eyes with
her wrought muslin apron, sobbed as loudly as
the young lady herself, beseeching her to take
comfort, and still vouching that '^ hurt or
harum*' were not intended ; nor amid the parox-
ysm of her sorrows could Eliza avoid remark-
162 THE CROPPY.
ing that Robert stood outside the door, also
sobbing, and also declaring, after every sob,
that " hurt or harum shouldn't come next or
Days thus elapsed, Eliza remaining a prey
to the worst fears, yet not experiencing any
misfortune more real than those fears, if her
imprisonment within the limits of the house
be excepted, when something at last occur-
red dreadfully to aggravate the miseries of
her situation, and to convince her that she was
indeed the captive of a treacherous enemy ;
and immediately after, something that led to
her escape from her detested thraldom.
It is often, very often, the fate of the heroines
of stories, to be carried off by some desperate
man interested in thwarting their schemes of
happiness ; and while we pronounce it irregu-
lar, as well as unfortunate, that so many fair and
deserving beings should be exposed to this cus-
tomary calamity of novels, we also admit the
adventure to be a very commonplace one. In
the present instance, however, the reader's he-
roine is, in fact and truth, a prisoner without
any invention of ours ; and farther, we pray
him to approach our last chapter, ere he classes
THE CROPPY. 163
US with the general tribe of abductors, (upon
paper,) of beauty and innocence.
Ever since the days of chivalry, too, although
almost all the ladies-loves of knighthood have
been thus treacherously forced into durance by
some dwarf, giant, or enchanter, they have, as
invariably been rescued and restored to their
friends by some gallant arm ; and again we
must record, in our heroine's behalf, a similar
providential occurrence. But it was no knight,
with nodding plumes, that achieved the task,
and no pomp of arms such as used to attend the
enlargement of lovely captives, graced the
event ; it was not even an ordinary lover, in
plain clothes, who appeared as the deliverer of
our Eliza ; her freedom was the work of a very
humble, but, as the reader has already judged
her, a very clever old personage, — no other, in
fact, than our friend Nanny the Knitter, who,
joined to her love for her ward, so she always
considered EHza, might have drawn from the
experience of her own late captivity, a benevo-
lent motive to assist all poor prisoners.
At the reader's last parting from Nanny,
she was in view of a cabin, under the roof of
which she hoped for temporary concealment
164 THE CROITY.
from the man whom she had many reasons to
consider as " the fell destroyer."
This cabin proved to be the abode of a sister
of Shawn-a-Gow, who, many years ago, had
been married to a small farmer ; and Kitty
Gow now found protection in it, since the break-
ing-up of Sir Thomas Hartley**s establishment
had deprived her of a more comfortable home.
Her aunfs husband, and her two sons, had
gone to join the insurgent standard, whether
wilUngly or not cannot positively be stated ; but
even disinclination could not have served to
keep them inactive, as detachments had been
sent to rout out the male inhabitants of every
cabin, and demur to their summons must have
only caused death at their hands. Illness pre-
vented the wife from following her husband,
and her daughters remained to attend her ;
otherwise, poor Kitty Gow might again have
wanted an asylum, and the poor Knitter a ready
place of refuge.
Under present circumstances, however, old
Nanny was favourably received ; such indeed
must have proved the case amongst any of her
acquaintances ; nay, amongst total strangers ;
for even under a roof quite new to her, Nanny
never yet had failed to establish herself in the
THE CROPPY. 165
snuggest corner, and to resume the proprietor-
ship of it whenever she again came within its
Nanny displayed her person and her head,
sorely bruised and battered, and cried — " Oh !
asy, asy, asy, my honey pet !" as Kitty Delou-
chery, and the commiserating girls of the
house, examined various protuberances that felt
very soft to the touch. Half the day was
spent in the recital of her moving and wondrous
adventure, and in moaning and wailing in all the
pathos of pain ; and at length the poor Knitter
felt so really ill as to be compelled ^^ to take to
the bed," with a prospect of not rising thence
for many days.
This was an affliction to her almost as sore
as her durance in the chest, or as the bruises it
had conferred ; for, up'on entering the cabin, she
looked to the undertaking her plans for the re-
lief of the heiress of Hartley Court almost im-
mediately ; and her fretting at the disappoint-
ment, and her extreme anxiety again to have
the use of her alert limbs, only retarded her
But although Nanny's confinement of some
days postponed her generous and heroic pur-
pose, perhaps, by aferding time for sedate re-
166 THE CROPPY.
flection, it contributed to, rather than detracted
from, the chances of ultimate success. Her first
impulse had been to seek out Sir William Jud-
kin, and inform him where to find his wife ; but
amid the after-thoughts of her lonely pillow,
Nanny reflected that, supposing Sir AVilliam
delivered from prison, (a matter she strongly
doubted,) he was, according to the admissions of
Rattling Bill, overheard in her chest, either too
closely watched to allow of his acting benefi-
cially, or — ^^ The Lord have marcy on his sowl
in glory, above, amin r — dead and buried by
this time in the church-yard of Dunbrody.
To confer with him, therefore, were impossible,
in the latter case ; or a useless waste of time,
already too much wasted, in the former case.
Nay, did he yet live, and live even with full
liberty to take his own measures, he would go
too hotly and incautiously to work ; would too
openly approach the place of his wife's con-
cealment, and afford, by his first movement, a
signal to Talbot to convey her to some other
place, whither neither he nor Nanny could trace
her. The result of all these cogitations, there-
fore, was, that she, Nanny, and no other person,
— except, indeed, that " purty Kitty Gow,"
might be called in as an assistant, — was capable
THE CROPPY. 167
of undertaking the liberation of Eliza. And
so, having at length recovered the use of her per-
severing, if not nimble feet, the Knitter, secretly
abetted by the young counsellor just mentioned,
engaged in the necessary measures for her ex-
But, before her appearance on the scene of
action, it is proper that Eliza should again be
visited in her solitude.
For a few days she had borne up, with w^hat
resignation she could, against the agitating un-
certainties of her state : Mrs. Nelly, still very
obsequious, commiserating, and, Eliza feared,
sycophantic ; and her colleague Robert, always
bowing whenever his fair charge appeared in
view. Upon the evening of the fifth day, after
twihght, and while pronouncing her usual part-
ing benediction of — " The blessin' o' God be
wid you an' about you, my lady !" Mrs. Nelly
handed our heroine a thick letter, and with-
Eliza gazed on the superscription. Again
the hand was, or seemed beyond doubt, to be
her father's. She hastily broke the seal, and,
with what feelings may easily be imagined, read
the following terrible communication : —
168 THE CROPPY.
'' MY BELOVED CHILD
" In a very few days more I shall be free to
embrace you, and resume my place in society.
My indefatigable friend has succeeded in mak
ing a favourable impression of my case upon
Government, and we but await the official pro-
ceedings, which are to effect an unqualified re-
versal of the sentence of the court-martial. So,
my own Eliza, keep up your spirits, and your
admirable strength of mind, to give me a good
welcome — and you will need both on another
account : though your father is to be restored to
you, Eliza, you have much to suffer — yet much
to rejoice at, too; much for which to thank and
glorify God. Attend : — When, upon the night
of our rapid journey to your house of refuge,
you asked me questions concerning a certain
individual, I did not decline answering them
merely because the rude guide might overhear
us. — No, Eliza, I was too dreadfully agitated at
the mentioning of that mail's name, to trust my-
self in reply ; — the abruptness of my answer
might have destroyed you ; or, at best, so much
shocked you, as to interrupt our journey, and
so provoke the most disastrous consequences.
I saw the necessity of allowing myself to cool
before we held farther communication on the
THE CROPPY. 169
subject, and of placing you in a situation, where
the effects upon you of what I had to tell would
be attended with less peril to us all.
*' Now, my dearest child, I will answer your
questions. You demanded intelligence con-
cerning your husband. You have no husband !
Start not, (yet, at least,) nor mistake my mean-
ing. The man — the fiend you call so, yet
lives — but you wrongly call him so — he is not
your husband ! Hearken to an explanation,
which can but be given in the form of a state-
ment that, while it fully explains your predica-
ment, will also supply a clue to my late and
" Before he saw you, or at least addressed
you, he had won the heart of a beautiful young
creature w4io loved him to excess — to a wild, a
passionate excess, unfeminine, if not degrading.
She was the daughter of a woman of high birth,
but of passions and dispositions exceeding her
own in strength, in obstinacy, and indeed in
quality. This wretched mother of a wretched
daughter, was at once as haughty and impetuous
in spirit, as she was grovelling in inclination.
Partly to escape a match she detested —partly
to indulge an unworthy preference — she eloped
from her father's house with a man of obscure
VOL. III. I
170 THE CROPPY.
birth, mean, and even vicious habits, and who
was recommended to her eye alone, by a toler-
able exterior, and a bold address. After the first
burst of her rash and ignoble passion, she soon
discovered to what a wretch she had attached
herself ; and, cut off, by her own act, from a
return to her family and to society, she aban-
doned her despicable companion, husband, I
believe, and retired from his view into a remote
solitude, where was born the victim of Sir
W J 's villany.
'^ The unhappy woman now had an object in
existence. It became her anxious wish and en-
deavour to educate her daughter for a place in
that society which was shut against herself. She
partially succeeded ; but her lonely communings
with her child did not assist other and better
impressions, nor help to subdue the dangerous
strength of passion, the gloominess of mind, and
the haughty and revengeful spirit she had trans-
mitted to her.
^' The tempter appeared, and mother, as well
as daughter, eagerly countenanced his atten-
tions; the one, because she saw in him a man
who, by espousing her child, could place her in
rank and station ; the other, as I have said, be-
cause she extravagantly loved him. His visits
THE CHOPPY. 171
to their romantic solitude were frequent ; — let
me dispatch this point at once : — under a pro-
mise of marriage he destroyed his victim.
" After some time, the deluded girl heard that
he had paid his addresses to you. Giving way
to the stern vehemence of her nature, now
heightened by almost every goading passion,
she quitted her home, and hastened to confront
him. They met in Waterford, where he was
transacting some business. Accusations and
reproaches passed between them. She taxed
him with his infidelity ; reminded him of his
oaths to her ; intimated that she must soon be-
come a mother ; and plainly and proudly told
him that at the very altar she would step be-
tween him and you.
*^ The wily fiend laughed at her fury ; swore
that he had never entertained the most remote
idea of abandoning her; that the rumour of
his attentions to you was false ; that his love
for her was as strong as ever ; and to prove his
assertions, he proposed to make her his wife
without loss of time.
*' Again she trusted him. The circumstance
of his procuring a disgraced clergyman to ce-
lebrate the marriage ceremony did not arouse
her suspicions, although the man was intoxi-
172 THE CROPPY.
cated while he performed his office, and was
incapable of comprehending the rank or even
the names of the parties.
^' Restored to her destroyer's endearments;
she once more gave way to romantic bliss. He
proposed a pleasurable excursion on the water
about Dunbrody, near to his residence, in
which she was to assume her place as wife and
mistress. Attended by one servant, they em-
barked in a small boat upon the wide river. —
Now, Eliza, my dear and precious treasure, so
miraculously saved — summon all your strength
of mind to note the sequel. — They were in the
midst of the expanse of water. Night and
silence reigned around them. Her arm was
round his neck, and she whispered into his ear
her enjoyment of the sweet solemnity of the
scene, as his bride, and while the heart was
happy. Even in the dim light, she saw his
brow suddenly darken. He snatched a pistol
from his bosom, and struck her with it on the
forehead. She fell, uttering one loud scream ;
blow followed blow, now dealt by the servant
as well as by the master, and she retained, for
a moment, just as much consciousness as in-
formed her that both were engaged in perpe-
tating a preconcerted murder. She had sealed
THE CROPPY. 173
her doom, when she told him that, while she
lived she would stand between him and you.
" They must have deemed her dead, under
repeated blows, although Providence willed
that they should err in their conclusions; for
she partially regained her senses, struggling in
the water into which they had cast her. Per-
ception again failed; and at its next return,
she^ vaguely apprehended that she was in an-
other boat, rowed by two vulgar men.
" By their conversation, it appeared that,
walking by the banks of the broad river, they
had heard her scream, and possessing them-
selves of a boat, which lay pulled up from the
influence of the tide, rowed out and saved her.
But their farther discourse told that they
thought her dead ; and by word, by groan, or
cry, she did not undeceive them. The first
forming of a dreadful resolution, suggested
even with the faintest return of consciousness,
kept her silent.
^^ The men conveyed her to a miserable
cabin, tenanted by an old woman and her
daughter, and one of them undertook to dress
her wounds, and skilfully performed the task.
This individual manifested towards her an
anxiety, and even a gentleness, very different
174 THE CEOPtY.
from his boisterous manner to others, for which
he roughly swore he could not account. He
questioned her often as to the names of the
perpetrators of the outrage upon her ; but
still, though allowing them to see she was now
sensible, the sufferer kept her secret. Other
pangs besides those caused by the murderous
hand of her demon-husband, racked her frame ;
— ^nay, he had directly caused even these. The
men withdrew ; and attended by the old wo-
man and her daughter, she was prematurely
delivered of a dead infant. She asked to look
upon it ; a glance told her that its father's
blows had killed it. And there, in that wretch-
ed hovel, stretched upon her damp straw, groan-
ing beneath her festering wounds, and feebly
pressing her murdered baby to her heart, the
purpose before thought of settled into deep
resolution. With that broken and despairing
heart she sw^ore, should she live, to live but for
revenge ; and for a I'evenge she regarded as
" But it seemed that she could not live ; and
the boisterous man inquired if she had no re-
lations to whom it would be well to convey
intelligence of her state. Still she was silent ;
until, at a moment when she thought her death
THE CHOPPY. 175
inevitable, she called him to her side, and men-
tioned her mother's name. He started — and
seemed as much agitated as a man of his nature
and habits could be. An explanation ensued ;
and in the person of her vulgar and swagger-
ing deliverer, the unhappy girl discovered a
" He left her to seek the abode of the wife
who for nineteen years he had not seen, and
the victim's mother flew to her miserable couch.
The shock almost instantly killed that haughty
and fallen lady; the only hope of a whole life
lay wrecked before her ; and her last sob was
given upon the feeble body of her child — but
not before she had caused the sufferer to clasp
hands with her across the little corse that lay
between them, and renew the oath previously
'' The widowed and childless orphan saw in
this additional misery of her mother's death,
fresh cause to repeat, indeed, and to strengthen
hev former dread resolution. And even her
profligate father, who witnessed the scene, knelt,
unasked, and voluntarily devoted himself to act
as the agent of her vengeance.
" His daughter, though at another time she
would have shunned all connexion with him,
now felt no shame of the parent who appeared
fitted as well as anxious to promote her pur-
pose. And he obviously seemed as much awed
into interest by the lofty and lady-like cha-
racter of his newly-discovered offspring, as he
was induced to aid her at the prompting of
any natural affection. In obedience to her first
wishes, he and his companion secretly convey-
ed, to a certain place of burial, the corses of
her mother and of her infant. Returning to her
straw couch, he was fully admitted into her
confidence : and he swore to place her destroyer
at her mercy, under circumstances that would
permit her to deal with him as her dark heart
longed, and had more than once vowed to do ;
and, while she yet lay prostrate, he set off
to contrive the secret capture of Sir W
J , before he should become wedded — nomi-
nally — to you, Eliza ; — for the prevention of
that event was as anxiously desired by your
wretched rival, as was the accomplishment of
her actual revenge upon her — husband : indeed,
she had instructed her father to prevent it by
any measures he could devise, provided that,
in the mean time, J escaped his grasp.
" You have seen, Ehza, the man so often men-
tioned. You saw him in the character of a jug-
THE CROPPY. 177
gler upon the review-field, almost the first day
of his appearance abroad, in prosecution of his
plans. You know, too, of one of his attempts
to secure the person of his daughter's betrayer :
I allude to the night when Priest Rourke res-
cued Sir W J . But, governed by
his double instructions, he intrigued to prevent
the expected marriage between that fiend and
you, at the same time that he sought to get
him into his power, lest— as indeed it proved to
be the case — his efforts in the latter instance
should fail. And now I approach a part of
my statement which relates to my own recent
and present situations, as nearly as it does to
" Although this agent, Nale, felt, perhaps,
really zealous for his daughter's sake, his cha-
racter, and the habits of his whole life, rendered
it impossible that he could act even in her re-
gard without at the same time attending to his
personal interests. In this view, instead of
openly coming to me, and warning me of my
beloved child's danger, he sought out your old
admirer, Harry Talbot, of whose former rela-
tion towards you he soon made himself aware,
and from whose chafing state of mind he cun-
ningly calculated his own mean advantages,
178 THE CROPPY.
And by slow degrees, only, and indifference
to repeated bribes, did be communicate to
Talbot any important information ; altbough, at
the very first, he declared himself the possessor
of a secret which would prove J a villain,
at the mercy of the laws of his country, and
effectually put an end to the acquaintance be-
tween you and him : thus, of course, arousing
in the breast of the rejected lover an eager
interest which he well knew how to turn to
^' The tangible communication he at last
made was contained in the charge preferred
against Judkin by Talbot, to your own ear,
Ehza. But at the moment when Nale hinted
this terrible fact, he had warned Talbot not
for some time to divulge or proceed upon it.
The man awaited his daughter's restoration to
health, or at least, a renewed consultation with
her, before he would authorize a story, of which
her personal appearance was the most neces-
sary proof. But, hurried away by his min-
gled feelings of love for you, and, I believe,
sincere alarm on your account, your old friend
forgot this warning ; and thus Nale, still un-
able to advise with his daughter, did not hesi-
tate to deny, before Magistrate Whaley, that
THE CROPPY. 179
he had ever been authority for the startling
" Meantime, a day was named for your mar-
riage, and Nale, consistently with his atrocious
character, had recourse to the most diabolical
scheme for preventing its occurrence. And
again you will find him urged on as much by
a base selfishness, as by zeal in his true cause,
for exertion. He planned, that if he could
make out against J or me a plausible
charge of disloyalty, the arrest of either would
at once postpone your union, and entitle him,
as informer, to a high reward ; in other in-
stances, he has played double with the wretched
insurgents; but from this speculation, consider-
ing the importance that must attach to his ser-
vices on account of our rank, he hoped to draw
" It is to be presumed, that, with the chances
of success equal to his view, he might have
preferred J as the victim of his peculiar
rascality ; though I question even that, seeing
how determined his unhappy daugliter was to
get her destroyer into her own hands, that she
might herself inflict vengeance upon him. At
all events, Nale could not fix on so many ap-
pearances in J 's conduct and actions capa-
180 THE CROPPY.
ble of being turned into evidence of disaffection,
as he detected in mine; and accordingly, al-
tliough J , too, was arrested along with me,
in order to secure a separation between him
and you, and, indeed, to dispose him for the fate
to which his desperate wife had doomed him,
against me became directed the immediate shafts
of false evidence.
" I come to the last fact that it is at present
prudent to communicate. The very night be-
fore the day appointed for your marriage, 3; our
poor rival, at length able to exert herself in her
own behalf, sought out Nale, and learned from
him his abominable scheme for carrying her
wishes into effect. She learned, in real horror,
that the villain had coolly sacrificed me, as well
to promote her purpose, as to gratify his own
thirst of money. She flew to a person who,
without exposing her despicable parent, might,
she hoped, interfere to protect me. That per-
son had already known of Nale's plot, and,
certainly in the most sagacious way, had re-
solved upon measures to defeat it. The result
proves, indeed, how wisely, as well as how
anxiously, he exerted himself to save your
father, Eliza ; for I speak of the friend before
mentioned, to whom we owe all.
THE CROPPY. 181
" I conclude, by warning you that it is not
upon Talbot's previous assertion of the \illany
of J , I now require you to credit the state-
ments of this letter. Not even upon the alle-
gations of Nale do I ask you to credit them. I
have seen and conversed with the wretched
heroine of my dark story, and from her own
lips received all the facts I communicate to you.
You have yourself seen and conversed with her,
Ehza, though not in reference to this subject.
She was the bearer of my first letter to you in
Enniscorthy, and afterwards your guide to the
spot where you met me. And in farther ex-
planation of what I write, you shall see her
again, perhaps before I can be quite at hberty
to anticipate her visit. One word more I will
add about her. It is the wish and effort of my
friend and myself to save her destroyer from
her personal revenge ; although we can but
save him for the more sedate vengeance of the
laws of his country.
" Farewell, my beloved, my cherished, and
wonderfully- preserved child ! God's peace be
with you where you are, until you can be folded
to the heart of your doting father,
182 THE CROPPY.
Before giving the letter which concludes the
last chapter, the reader was left to imagine the
feelings with which it was perused by Eliza, in
preference to attempting any description of them.
And we must now do the same thing, acknow-
ledging our inability to follow the workings of
her heart at the first shock of this demonstration
of the fiendish perfidy of Sir William Judkin ; —
for demonstration Eliza took the letter to be.
A doubt of its authenticity never once occurred
to her. Every word read Hke truth, and like
the very words of her father : and if for an
instant any parts of it seemed strange, and
strange only, as coming from him, they were
those in which, notwithstanding the clear proofs
of Talbofs bad and black character, evident in
his arrest of his former friend, and in his con-
duct to herself at the castle of Enniscorthy, her
beloved parent seemed to allude with toleration
to that person.
THE CROPPY. 183
After many pauses, after having often drop-
ped it from her hand, or started up, clinging to
her chair; or, feeling possessed of only as much
strength as enabled her to reach for a gulp of
water, after having often remained motionless
in that chair, during several minutes, Eliza at
length finished the perusal of this, to her, appal-
ing document. And still she sat motionless,
except for occasional shudderings, and tear-
less, too, when she heard the key turn, with
scarce a sound, in the lock of her chamber-door,
and then the handle was very gently moved,
and a very gentle pull given.
Starting up in the utmost alarm, though she
knew not distinctly why, Eliza hastened to ascer-
tain if she had fastened the door on the inside.
The bolt was indeed shot home ; and she paused
with suspended breath to observe what next
would take place.
There came two almost silent knocks, as if
little knobs of velvet had tapped. Eliza re-
mained still as possible. The soft challenge
was repeated ; and then, after another pause,
the faintest breath of a whisper trembled
through the key-hole.
'* It 's poor ould Nanny, Lady Eleezabeth
Judkin, barrowknight, my honey pet."
184 THE CROPPY.
" Nanny !" whispered Eliza, in reply, ut-
terly amazed : " Nanny ! impossible !"
She touched the bolt with her finger, but he-
*• Don't be a bit afeard, Lady Eleezabeth,
my honey pet ; it 's poor ould Nanny, as sure as
I'm a lump iv a sinner this blessed night."
It was the Knitter's peculiar dialect, indeed,
and an accompanying gurgle, quite distinct
from any intonation of any other of the human
species, which removed all Eliza's doubts, and
convinced her that her old counsellor sought an
audience. Imitating Nanny's proceedings, she
gently undid the bolt ; and it seemed that,
without the slightest creak, the door self-unfold-
ed ; for Nanny had continued to hold the lock-
handle in the opening twist, to which her second
evolution brought it ; and then, an inhabitant
of the regions of spirits never moved more noise-
lessly than did the very palpable old dame.
Giving a peculiar look of caution, she very slowly
coaxed the door to its closing position, and as
slowly, and quite as imperceptibly to the ear,
permitted the self-acting handle to revolve un-
til it had again stolen into its place the bolt it
" Nanny !" Eliza continued to repeat, " I
THE CROPPy. 185
can scarce believe my eyes;'' and the sight of
the old woman was some little comfort to her
heart, inasmuch as from her habits of close,
and all but omnipresent observation, she in-
stantly reckoned on receiving some welcome or
necessary tidings concerning the world without.
^' Hooshth, hooshth, I.ady Eleezabeth, my
honey !" cautioned Nanny^ as she completed
her precautions of bolting, and even locking the
door, each operation being just as noiseless as
any that had preceded it.
" Have you been sent to me ? — and by
Nanny repeated her " hooshth/' for she had
not yet quite done with bolt and key.
" Or if not, how, in Heaven's name, have you
found your way hither ?"
" Hooshth, Lady Eleezabeth, my duck-o'-de-
mons ! — discoorse asy, or we *re spiled for ever :
them ears o' Nelly abroad, though they're on
the head o' the gossip o"* me, that stood for the
little daughther I have doin' for herself in
Ross town, they 'd hear the dhroppin' o' the
weeniest minikin pin that ever stuck in a sto-
macher. So we '11 stale as asy as ever we can,
an' we'll plank ourselves doun in the corner
beyant the bed, where the candle doesn't shine ;
186 THE CROPPY.
an' where the talk '11 be kep in, an*" we '11 con-
varse about what brought ould Nanny to be
so bould afore a lady o' the land."
And with the velvet pace of a cat, when
stealing over the carpet in an apartment where
she knows she has no right to be, Nanny led the
way to the secret corner, and while Eliza oc-
cupied a chair opposite to her, there " planked
herself on her hunkers," and resumed, — " An*
it 's who sent me to you, you 're axin', Lady
Eleezabeth, my honey ; an' sure, barrin' Divine
Providence, this blessed an' holy night, no one
sent ould Nanny bud herself ; an"* many a weary
turnin"* an' twinin' she had afore she could bring
her poor ould four bones foment you, my
And even under the urgent circumstances of
the present case, when she knew and felt in her
heart that every moment uselessly spent ex-
posed her to detection, Nanny yet commenced
her series of details with that very one she
might have omitted, so much was she accus-
tomed to a leisurely, digressive ramble, as Mell
in her discourse, as in her personal peregrina-
tions. It happened, however, singularly enough,
that on this occasion, her idle gossip to her
young patroness supplies the last link of her
THE CROPPY. 187
proceedings since we last saw her, with which,
previous to the dispatch of her real business,
it may be necessary to acquaint the reader.
The day before her present appearance, she
had called, just by chance, as it were, to visit,
in Captain Talbot's new house the same house-
keeper, Mrs. Nelly, with whom she had for-
merly been intimate in that gentleman's other
house, about two miles from Hartley Court,
and who was, indeed, godmother to " the little
daughther iv her." The gossips relished each
other's society, and, with slight pressing, though
much would have been offered if necessary,
Nanny agreed to " stop the night." Towards
evening, in consequence of some cautious hints,
Mrs. Nanny took her visitor to inspect the fine
new house ; and Nanny saw the inside of every
room under its roof, except two, which, ac-
cording to her cicerone, were occupied by " an
ould friend o' the masther's hidin' in 'em from
hurt an' harum."
This hint was quite enough for the observant
Knitter. The friends returned down-stairs to
their tea, and Nanny, with great satisfaction,
saw her hostess infuse a considerable quantity
of strong whiskey into each cup, as a sovereign
remedy (and Nanny agreed that it was) against
188 THE CROPPY.
what Mrs. Nelly called the " wather-flash in the
stimach." But for this night she took no ad-
vantage of her discovery of the housekeeper's
habit of thus prescribing for her imaginary
Next morning, *' afther her good break'ast,
bless the providhers !" the old woman set out to
complete her arrangements with Kitty Gow,
promising to return " by the night-fall to her
little bit o' supper, an' a snug bed for hersef."
She kept her promise ; and, soon after Mrs.
Nelly's departure from Eliza, joined the house-
keeper in her room, and found her again much
troubled with " the wather-flash," and disposed
to attack it with her usual specific. And now
Nanny's praise of the remedy was downright
eloquent, and she kindly admonished Mrs.
Nelly to repeat it more than once ; nay, when
the most violent *^ wather-flash" must needs
have been got under, (else were there no virtue
in the medicine,) the patient consented, after a
little earnest advice from her friend, to put " jist
another three or four spoonfuls in her tay, to
hendher id from comin' on in the night-time ;" so
that, long before her usual hour, partly under
the influence of the powerful soporific, partly
under that of Nanny's no less lulling accents, —
THE CROPPY. 189
a monotonous rumble of voice, well calculated,
like the wind through a keyhole at night, to set
any one asleep, — Mrs. Nelly began, as her crony
termed it, " to pay compliments ;"" that is, with
gradually-closing lids, to drop her head on her
breast, raise it, half conscious of the weakness,
and then, as suddenly let it drop again ; her
mouth wearing all the while a curious kind of
vague smile, that seemed to betoken her last
fading sense of a polite necessity to respond to
the unheard gabble of her entertaining guest.
By degrees Nanny lowered her voice, lest an
abrupt change from talking to silence might
have an unwished-for effect ; and at length, re-
joiced to see that the housekeeper slept pro-
foundly. In a few minutes afterwards she was
at Eliza's chamber-door, but not for many mi-
nutes after that had she finished to her liking
the first account of herself, which is here con-
siderably abridged, in deference to the impa-
tience of the reader.
Her next roundabout story consisted of a mi-
nute account of the secret arrangements of Kitty
Gow and herself to accomplish the escape of
Eliza from her state of durance ; concluding
with the intelligence that Kitty waited that
moment, with a horse and pillion, in a secret
190 THE CROPPY.
place near to the house, to become the guide of
our heroine to the town of Ross, where Nanny's
daughter would afford to both a shelter and
Eliza now naturally inquired into the reason
for Nanny's great anxiety to remove her from
her present situation. She had heard the old
woman confirm her own first suspicions, that she
was under Talbot's roof, and thence inferred,
doubtless sufficient cause in her own mind, for
abandoning it as soon as possible ; but she fore-
saw, that merely this fact could not endue her
friend with the unusual zeal she now mani-
The history, at full length, of the Knitter's
imprisonment in the chest followed; involving
her report of the direful discourse held between
Rattling Bill and Sam Stick-leg during her iti-
nerant captivity. Eliza listened in great agi-
tation to Nanny's version of the declarations of
Nale with respect to herself and Sir William,
by which it strongly appeared that the young
Baronet was to be murdered, as she had been
ensnared and deprived of her liberty, in order
to forward the views of Talbot upon herself; —
" He 's only waitin', my honey pet," said
Nanny, half reporting, half commenting, '* until
THE CKOrPY. 191
the darlin' iv a Sir William 'ill be berred in
Dunbrody, abroad there, an' then he'll make
you marry him in spite o' the world." And
at this intelligence, so much to be relied on,
Eliza instantly began to recur to all her former
conclusions of treachery, and to doubt, — won-
dering how she could for a moment have omit-
ted to do so — the last epistle, professing to
come from her father.
Nanny could not be raving or romancing.
The zeal and the disinterested heroism with
which she had dared so many dangers to avert
from her patroness the evil she believed hung
over her, proved that she was not : proved that
her motive to action must have been derived
from the unquestionable evidence of her very
correct ears. And if so, did it npt appear plain
that the whole story of Sir William's perfidy,
as well as the letter which conveyed it, was in-
vented by Talbot to further his presumptuous
hopes of Eliza'*s favour ? to dislodge his rival
from her esteem, in order that a vacant place
might be left for his future recommendation of
himself.? Nay, such recommendation had already
lurked in the artful pages of that very letter :
seemingly, under her father's hand, the wily
enemy had sought to place some of his for-
192 THE CHOPPY.
mer actions favourably before her ; and Eliza
brought to mind, that even while no doubt of
the beguiling document occurred, she had in-
stinctively wondered, considering it penned by
her father, at that obvious discrepancy ; and
from all this new conviction, her heart turned
not only with renewed interest, but with trem-
bling alarm for his safety, to the slandered and
persecuted Sir William, and in the belief that
she, as well as his foes, had wronged him, tears
of self-reproach filled her eyes, followed by tears
of joy that she again could think him worthy of
But she was yet to receive more decisive
proof of the truth of her reasonings. While
reporting the memorable dialogue held at each
side of the chest, Nanny had, as yet, forgotten
or suppressed many important passages; for ex-
ample, to say nothing of Nale's allusions to his
being directed and " driven," by some unknown
woman, in his designs upon Sir William Judkin,
she never once repeated the words of that scoun-
drel and his comrade, in reference to Sir Tho-
mas Hartley's death : and while the former
omission might have been merely accidental, the
latter, perhaps, chiefly arose out of delicacy to
Ehza's " throuble, on the head o' the hangin' iv
THE CROPPY. 193
the darlin' father iv her ;"' for so Nanny after-
wards professed ; it never having entered into
her thoughts to conceive that Eliza had so long
remained ignorant of what " all the world were
risin'' up their hands and eyes, wondherin at."
In answer, however, to Eliza'*s inquiries con-
cerning the last account our Knitter could give
of Sir William Judkin, the overwhelming intel-
ligence at length reached our heroine.
" Iv all the nights o' the year, Lady Eleeza-
beth, my pet, it was last Monday night, or
'twould be the fitther to call it last Tuesday
mornin**, au' we wor hard at work, mysef an*
Misthress Flannigan, an' Misther Flannigan, the
butler, hidin' the plate an' all the things at
Hartley Coort from the covetous yeomen, that
we spected 'ud call back to take a loock at id
afther we knew for sart'n that the darlin' Sir
Thomas, — God be good to his sowl in glory !
amin, — was murthered from us "
Eliza, with a quick catching of her breath,
seized the woman's arm.
*^ Hah ! what do you say ?"
" Not all out so arly in the night, Lady Elee-
zabeth, my honey ; my ould tongue said it tdb
pat — no, not till about two hours, or two hours
an' a half afther, as I hard from the mouths o""
VOL. III. K
194 THE CROPPY.
many that knows it well — yeomen, that stood
by at tlie gallow's foot, as well as others — **'
" Wretched old woman, be brief ! what gal-
low's foot ? whom did they stand by to see exe-
" Ochone ! ochone ! an' who, an' who ! an'
who ud be worth talkin' iv, Lady Eleezabeth,
my honey pet ? who, when so many are sthrung
up like dogs an' cats every hour o' the blessed
day an' night ! who, bud him that the world
wide, man, woman an' child, are cryin' afther,
from that day to this ; — last Monday night, or
what's the fitther to call id, last Tuesday morn-
in' ! who, who, my poor graw iv a pet, but the
honey darlin' father o' you. Lady Eleezabeth,
you poor crature !"
Ere Nanny had quite ended, her auditor,
without a single cry or groan, lay senseless at
It was a considerable time before the ap-
palled gossip could succeed in restoring anima-
tion. As she seldom, however, allowed her
feelings to overcome her judgment, Nanny ac-
tively engaged in all the usual methods adopted
on such occasions, and at length saw her young
friend able to sit up and gaze around her.
Then the old dame, conscious of the enormous
THE CROPPY. 195
impropriety she had committed in not ascer-
taining the extent of Eliza's information with
regard to her father's death, previous to her
own abrupt allusion, hastened to make a lowly
" I ax God's pardon, an"* your pardon. Lady
Eleezabeth, my darlin' o' the ^vorld," and push-
ing herself from her sitting position on her
heels, to her knees, she fell on the palms of her
hands, and three times kissed the floor at Eliza'*s
" Say once again distinctly, what you said
just now — let me be sure I understand you,'"*
commanded Eliza, in a hollow voice.
" It was about — " whispered Nanny.
" My father !"
*' Och, ay ! but I 'm a'most afeard to say it
again, you look so frightened, my honey pet."
'* Go on !" and Eliza did not abate one scin-
tilla of the information Nanny could convey.
That her father had indeed been executed
upon the night of her rapid journey from En-
niscorthy to her present place of imprisonment
— that Captain Talbot had been foremost in
precipitating his fate — that, in the same spirit
in which he had refused our heroine admission
to the castle of Enniscorthy, he had also openly
repulsed the witnesses who came to tender their
evidence in favour of his old friend — and finally,
that, in the dead hour of night, he had stood
at the gallow's foot until the last breath escaped
his victim ; all this Eliza learned as matter-of-
fact publicly known for many days past, and
not denied by Talbot himself.
Benumbing to her mental faculties as was
Eliza's tearless despair at this information, still
she received from it the last incontrovertible
proof, that since the moment of the strange
woman's appearance before her in the inn at
Enniscorthy, down to the present hour, decep-
tion and treachery had been practised upon
her. It now admitted of no debate, that the
two letters bearing her poor father's signature
were base forgeries, that an impostor had per-
sonated him during her flight to Talbot's house,
and that the author of this tissue of villany
and deceit — the monster, Talbot, the murderer
of her father, perhaps of her husband, whom
in his insidious epistle he had so slandered —
detained her under his roof, only awaiting his
time to present himself before her.
While these thoughts became fixed in her
stunned mind, Nanny watched her with much
alarm, for Eliza, sitting still as a statue, and
THE CROPPY. 197
her face pale and rigid as death, kept her dry
burning eyes vacantly bent on the old woman.
The Knitter, by all forms of condolence with
which she was acquainted, tried to break
through this most wretched of all the mani-
festations of grief, interlarding her appeals with
continued allusions to the necessity for instant
flight from the house in which they then were,
and to the perfect state of readiness in which
they would find Kitty Gow, close at hand.
" Come r at last exclaimed Eliza, starting
up with a suddenness that made Nanny bound
aside, frog-like ; and her patroness immediately
set about arraying herself for a journey.
Nanny, still more alarmed at the uncalculat-
ing noise occasioned by Eliza's vehement mo-
tions and proceedings, humbly remonstrated
upon the necessity of " doin"* every thing quite
an' asy ;" — also adding, that before they could
venture to leave the house together, it be-
hoved her " to stale down stairs, widout makin'
mooch noise wid her feet," and ascertain if all
was favourable for their perilous attempt.
'' Go, then !" said Eliza, in a tone of voice
still so little modulated to the necessities of the
case, that Nanny saw it would be better not to
provoke her into farther conversation. With-
198 THE CROPPY.
out another word, therefore, the old woman got
through all her silent process of unlocking, un-
bolting, and unlatching the door ; and as EHza,
now attired for her expected flight, fixedly and
almost sternly watched Nanny's exit, she began
to regard the creeping creature but as an ac-
complice in the general plot so direfully per-
fected for her ruin.
With her throat parched and choking, but
her impulse to scream aloud kept down ; with
her person erect, and braced in desperation,
while her clasped hands met beneath her bo-
som ; and with her yet unmoistened eye fixed
upon the half- open door — thus stood Eliza at
Nanny's return from reconnoitering the state
of the garrison. The deep, stilly expression of
her otherwise inexpressible woe — the stony
composure of her features and lofty figure, in
the silence and dim light of the spacious cham-
ber — caused Nanny to start back, as soon as
her grotesque person slid over the threshold.
But, recovering herself, she gave a sign that
circumstances seemed to favour their intended
escape ; and in a few minutes, partly owing to
Mrs. Nelly's " cure for the wather- flash,"
partly to her keys, which Nanny '^ jest bor-
ried" from the nail on which they hung, Eliza
THE CROPPY. 199
occupied a pillion behind Kitty Gow, who,
with her right knee over the pummel of a
man's saddle, and her left foot not in a lady's
stirrup, a whip in her hand, and a little bonnet
tied down close to her ears, sat prepared to
conduct Eliza from her abhorred prison. And
thus humbly mounted, and with a girl as young
as herself, and, at least in happier days, not
unlike herself in character, to act as her esquire,
did the heiress of Hartley Court prepare to fly
the dangers that threatened her.
^^ It's to Ross town you're for goin', Lady
Eleezabeth, my darlin' pet," said Nanny, as she
stood a moment at Kitty Gow's stirrup — " only
six or seven miles, or thereaway, from us, an'
where the little daughther o' me will do her best,
as in duty bound, her an' hers, for ever, bless
all good benny facthers, to keep you out o'
harum's way — an' the road afore you is clane
an' clear iv them foolish, wicked Croppies that 's
behavin' themselves so bad elsewhere— an' Kitty
Gow, my honey, jest tell Nance that, by the
same token an ould woman was wid her last
Christmas-day — an' she'll know what ould wo-
man you mane — an' gave her, unknownst to
a livin' sowl bud their own two sefs, four hun-
dhred in oaten male for* the child's Christmas-
^00 THE CROPPY.
box ; an' I '11 be wid ye mysef, Lady Eleeza-
beth, my honey jewel, to-morrow arly, plase
God I live so long, an' gets safe an' sound out
o"* the one house wid Misthress Nelly ; — an'
lookee, Kitty, my pet," sinking her voice, so
that Kitty only might hear her, " you have
your own throubles to make you sorrowful, an'
to keep the smiles from your two purty cheeks,
an' to make the pleasant voice o' you be more
dushmal nor it's used to be — bud, Kitty, my
honey, Lady Eleezabeth's throubles is greater
than yours by far, an' if you'd thry to rise her
heart wid some merry stories on the road, an'
maybe a merry laugh, an' the light heart, an'
the quick thought an' word, at whatever may
come across ye — God purtect the both ! an' I
don't mane that there's any danger — why, then,
Kitty, my graw, you'd only be doin' what 'ud
be the kind thing, an' the dutiful thing, in re-
gard to one o' the ladies o' the land that the
likes iv us has no right to compare oursefs to,
or to laugh when they laugh, or to cry when
they cry, or to think in our throubles when
they're in their own throubles — to say nothin'
o' what you 're beholdin' for to her an' hers, or
nothin' iv the boy that you wish well, that et
his bread, an' dhrank his sup undher their roof,
THE CROPPY. 201
an' that you know I always had a good notion
of, for your sake."
In the same low tone in which she was thus
admonished, Kitty assured her counsellor that
her own love and pity towards our heroine did
not require to be excited into the disposition
necessary for the sacrifice of her personal sor-
rows upon this extraordinary occasion ; and
that, in every respect, she would exert her
spirits to — as Nanny expressed it — " rise Lady
Adieus were interchanged ; Kitty whipped
her indifferent steed ; and almost at the first
step of their journey, she found herself appeal-
ed to for the observance of her promise to the
Knitter. Hitherto, Eliza had kept the rigid
stillness of manner, and the deep silence, in
which she quitted Talbot's house. The motion
of the horse acted as a keen remembrancer to
her heart. She turned her head, and glanced
at the hated house from which she was about to
fly ; her desolate situation appeared to her in a
new, an afflicting, a tear-starting light ; the
thought of her father's death began to put in
play all the sources of natural grief ; she again
turned her head, and looked upon her humble
and feeble, and yet her only protector, — and at
202 THE CHOPPY.
last came the bursting shower, as, passing her
arm tightly round Kitty Gow, she allowed her
head to droop on her guide's shoulders, sobbing
out, "Poor girl, poor girl!" — for by quick
apprehension, she brought to mind Kitty's late
misfortunes, not unlike her own ; and sympathy
for the humble maiden's similar state of imbe-
friended misery, mingled with and made a part
of Eliza's individual suffering.
Nanny had warranted that their road should
prove free of the dangerous commotions which
elsewhere must be encountered. But the result
shows that however skilled she might be in other
matters, she knew little of military movements,
though, perhaps, she is entitled to an apology
on this occasion, inasmuch as since nearly the
first outbreak of the insurrection until she set off
to reconnoitre Talbot's house, she had been con-
fined to her bed, and so separated from almost
all communication with any of her fellow-crea-
tures who could faithfully report public pro-
But in fact, upon this night nearly the
whole of the county of Wexford was in the
hands of the insurgents ; and already they con-
templated a serious extension of their victories,
by attacking the town of New Ross, the readiest
THE CROPPY. 203
passage into the county of Kilkenny, where they
expected to be joined by new reinforcements.
The defence of Ross, therefore, became an ob-
ject of considerable importance, and all the mili-
tary force that could be collected were sent
thither in expectation of the threatened advance
of the victors of Owlard hill, of Enniscorthy, of
Wexford, and of other places ; so that Nanny
could scarce have chosen a more insecure desti-
nation for her protegee.
Again, it is to be noticed, that if Eliza's mind
had been disposed to receive impressions con-
genial to its former tastes, she would have re-
ceived much pleasure from the very beautiful
night-scenes surrounding her during a part of
her journey. At different parts of her route
she might have caught glimpses of an expansive
river, overhung with great masses of foliage,
some blank and colourless, but boldly relieved
against the clear sky, and others chequered by
the young moon, which, since her flight from
Enniscorthy, had been growing in the heavens :
and as she approached the town, extension and
variety of this class of scenery might have con-
tinued to raise her admiration ; Nature, not im-
mersed in impenetrable sleep beneath a ray-
less night, but half hidden, half revealed, rather
S04 THE CROPPY.
enjoying a gentle slumber ; while the timid
light of the serene concave was reflected in the
broad and smooth river, and mingling heights,
clothed in their graceful woods, sloped down to
bound its waters, or, pausing at a distance,
allowed the soft meadow to stretch to its
But EHza had little perception for outward
objects or appearances ; or perhaps she attend-
ed to some of a character different from such as
have been glanced at, yet in unison with her
mood, or appealing to her situation. When, as
was often the case, the burning cabin or mansion
sent its sudden red glare against the sky, turn-
ing the moon's silver radiance into a sickly pale
green, and tinging the summer hue of the woods
as if with the soiled, rusted tints of latest autumn,
Eliza's eye became momentarily interested ;
and the wild and distant shouts that, accom-
panying the occurrence, rang through some re-
mote and unknown solitude, appealed still more
directly to her terrors, her memory, and her
Kitty Gow, who quickly saw how much in
error Nanny had been as to the safety of their
route, exerted herself to curb the new agitation
thus often created in Eliza, and which she felt
THE CROPPY. 305
manifested by a sudden start, an increased pres-
sure of the young lady's arm round her waist,
or a quick catching of breath, as if a scream was
sought to be kept in. She augured good for-
tune to their journey ; she promised happily for
the future, and for Sir William Judkin ; she
alluded resignedly to her own late sorrows, and
gaily to the successes of Tim Reily, which had
been spirited to her ears, and which promised
to make him a Croppy captain, at least. Nay,
she ventured to sing some of his songs, com-
posed under her inspiration ; such as the " Pride
o' the Slaney," which the reader may recollect,
and some half-amorous, half-patriotic farewells
dispatched to her since his inlistment under the
Insurgent flag. And yet Kitty's heart was not
quite so forgetful of her poor brother's death,
of her mother's madness, and of her father's
ruin and desperation ; nor, indeed, so much at
ease concerning the safety of Eliza and herself
upon their present journey. In case of the oc-
currence of any thing dangerous, she depended,
however, to no very modest extent, upon her
own presence of mind, her adroitness, her " gift
o' the tongue," and, be it added, her comeli-
ness. But, notwithstanding her arrangements
against ill-chance, the young fugitives approach-
206 THE CROPPY.
ed, without accident or question, very close to
They were now within less than a quarter of
a mile of the town of Ross. On the one hand a
wooded hill, drooping its foliage over the road,
darkened their way ; on the other a rich flat,
thickly interspersed with trees, and beautified
with streams of moonshine and mysterious
depths of shadow, extended to the river, which
also caught snatches of the last light upon its
waters. There was no breeze ; not a leaf
trembled. The air was soft and genial ; and
but that the nightingale's song is never heard in
the groves of Ireland, it were a sweet scene and
hour for her melody. Instead, the little black-
cap was chanting on a willow by the water's
edge his comparatively imperfect, yet not dis-
agreeable ditty ; and the land-rail was creaking
through the silence of the dewy meadow.
Eliza had sunk into a fit of wordless and all-
engrossing sorrow, notwithstanding Kitty Gow's
best efforts to cheer her, when, in the mMst of
this tranquil and lovely scene, a peremptory
voice gave the challenge, — ^' Who goes there i^"
The w^ords sounded near to them, under the
shadow of the overhanging trees. EHza clung
closer to her guide ; and Kitty inwardly saying,
THE CROPPY. 207
" Now for it, if he's not too ould to be bothered
wid a purty face, an' a glib tongue," reigned up
her horse, and answered aloud, '* It 's a friend
or two is here.''
'^ Advance, friends, and give the counter-
sign," and a mounted dragoon came forward
from the darkness and confronted them.
'^ Take no notice of any rhamaush you '11 hear
me say, my lady," whispered Kitty.
" Aha ! a brace o' girls !" said the dragoon,
^' where are ye goin', my lasses .^"
" Why, Sir, we b'Heve this used to be the
road to Ross town, an' we're goin' there," an-
swered Kitty Delouchery, so disposing herself
as to give him some idea of the really pretty
face that seconded the merry voice in which she
" An' what 's your business in Ross, my
'' Why, Sir, an' I'll tell you that too. We 're
two protestan' girls, an' we live a' one side of
Enniscorthy, about a mile or so ; — if you 're not
too exact wid us, sure we '11 give you good
measure; — an' these Croppies, they bunit the
house while the father was out wid the yeomen,
an' we had to run for id, an' he 's in Ross afore
us, an' we're comin' to look for him."
208 THE CROPPY.
*' Well, that 's all to be seen. You are
prisoners until you account for yourselves —
come with me!" and he seized the bridle of
Kitty's horse, and led his captives towards the
" Who goes there ?" challenged another
voice, after he had advanced some distance.
The videttes soon recognised each other ; and
the first dragoon delivered the prisoners to his
comrade, with instructions to forward them to
^^ Musha, an' l\n glad of it," reasoned Kitty
— ^* he," — meaning her first object of attack, —
'^ he was a good-for-nothin' ould throoper, but
this crature looks like a body that 'ud take no-
tice of a body."
Eliza, although very unwilling to seem to
countenance Kitty's false statements, as well be-
cause they were such, as because she knew they
must increase the present danger, if discovered,
yet continued silent. Nanny had supplied her
with a cloak, such as is worn by the lower
class of females; Eliza had unconsciously adopt-
ed the disguise ; she could not now consistently,
or, still with a view to escape suspicion, show
a character different from the station it implied ;
THE CROPPY. 209
and hence she was compelled to allow Kitty her
The rustic coquette rightly interpreted the
temperament of their new detainer.
'' I 'd bet a day's pay,"" said the man, as his
more grave fellow-soldier withdrew, *' that the
girls want sweethearts — eh ! my dears ?"
" No, Sir, we thank you," answered Kitty ;
'^ we'd have more nor enough o' them if we
were at home, an' the wars over."
*' But you '11 want one here, while the war
lasts, you know."
<< Why, then^ that same wouldn't be a bad
plan, if a body could make off a boy one 'ud
" What do you think of the boy before you ?
won't he do?"
" Faix ! an' that 'ud be buyin' a pig in a bag.
Sir ; I can 't see the sort you are at-all-at-all :
— but I'll tell you what — I'll show face for
face wid you."
" Done, by jingo !" answered the confident
*' Then here goes !' — she put her hand to
untie her little bonnet, and then held it by the
edge as she continued — ^' Mind the word o'
210 THE CROPPY.
command I '11 give you : — take your own hairy
bonnet in your fist !'"* — the man laughingly
obeyed: — " uncover heads!" and at the same
moment both accordingly were uncovered, scru-
tinizing each other; and, so far as the moon-
light permitted a decision, the one showed a
pretty, smiling face, and the other a fine, manly
set of features.
All this time Eliza continued to tremble with
apprehensions of the result of Kitty's untrue
account of them, and she also felt shocked at
the girl's levity. And it was in vain that she
pressed her guide's arm ; in vain that she whis-
pered, " Forbear! forbear! at your peril!"
" Are you done for yet ?" questioned Kitty
of the dragoon, not noticing these hints and
" Almost," he answered, in the same banter-
ing tone ; — " an' how are you off yourself?"
" Purty well, I thank you ; only a little kilt
wid the looks o* you, jest as you are wid the
looks o' me; — we'd make a likely couple."
" I 've no time to get married now, my lass ;
an' there 's no parson at hand if I had ; an' I '11
tell you more, my hansome pet — I wouldn't, if
I had the time an' the parson at our elbow.''
'' Well, no matther; whisper ;" and she pulled
THE CROPPY. 211
his arm towards her, and he leaned his ear to
her lips : — ^' the sisther behind me on the pil-
lion is sick, poor sowl I an"* I can't stop to talk
wid you now; bud bring us safe into the town,
an' if I don't be stalin' out from her, never a
hair on your cap, or more than that, in your
whiskers ; — bother to you ! you spake to me in
the night-time ; I was longin' to be whisperin'
wid a sodier."
" You're a darlin'!" answered the captivated
dragoon ; — " a kiss on the head o' the bar-
" Wid a heart an' a half; — but mind my
sisther !" and it was well for Kitty that Eliza's
eyes were turned away ; and also well for her,
and for her new admirer too, that Tim O'Reilly
was not a witness to the sealing of the com-
'^ Where '11 I see you ?" continued Kitty.
" Wherever you like."
'^ Do you know the — let me think o' myself,
for you're afther fluttherin' me a-bit — do you
know the church in the town .?"
'' Right well."
*( Ay — bud that won't do, — the church-yard
is nigh hand, an' I'mafeard o' sperits. D 'you
know the Bungeen Lane ?"
212 THE CROPPY.
" Never fear but I do."
" Ay, but that same isn't convanient ; — d' you
know the cross, in the fair-green, in the Irish-
" As well as I know my horse."
" Well, afther you get us into the town,
come up to the cross, in an hour's time, an'
you 'll see somebody stannin' behind it ; an'
yourself and that same somebody 'ill be spak-
in' together, maybe."
Upon these terms, Kitty and the dragoon
proceeded together. The walls of the town
had been all demolished, either by time, or by
the extension of its buildings ; but the gates
were yet standing, or rather archways that
gates once occupied ; and from the road along
which our travellers approached, by one of
these archways, called the Friar's-Gate, they
were to enter New-Ross. As part of the pre-
parations for the expected attack, the inlet had
just been half built up, and farther secured
with W'Ooden barricadoes, evidently of hasty
When very near this entrance, a smooth,
obliging voice, not unfamiliar to Eliza's ear,
was heard to give a preparatory " hem !" as if
to clear the passage for speaking, and then, in
THE CROPPV!'. 213
the most good-natured accents in which the
words could be pronounced, it demanded,
" Pray, who goes there ?"
" Friends," answered the dragoon.
" I 'm sure you are," rejoined the obliging
voice ; " I am, upon my credit ; but you must
say ' General Johnson' to me, before I can let
you pass — unless you like to pass without my
lave,"*' he added, very resignedly.
'^ Curse you ! a purty sentinel you are, with
all my hearf," laughed the horseman : *' but,
harkee, — here are two girls that must go into
the town, for I and they say ' General Johnson'
" General Johnson, an' long life to him !"
echoed Kitty — " till to-morrow mornin', when
the boys comes in ;" was her mental reser-
^' Very well, very well ; I'm happy to oblige
you," resumed the civil sentinel.
'^ Remember the cross, in Irishtow^n, in an
hour," whispered Kitty's new conquest.
'^ If I 'm not there," asseverated Kitty,
heartily shaking the hand which had been
ungloved for the purpose of duly presenting
it, — " I '11 give you lave to cut the cross in
two with your sword."
214 THE CROPPY.
Assured and fondly-confiding, the lover
helped Kitty and " her sisther" to dismount ;
then assisted them down and up a deep trench
newly dug between them and the gate; and
then, once more reminding Kitty of her en-
gagement, took charge of her old horse- — ^in
truth, scarce worth the care — and gallantly
rode back to his post.
Eliza had heard the last allusions " to the
cross," and now shrunk from, as she considered
her to be, the criminal Kitty Delouchery.
^' You "*re angry wid me, ray lady/' said
Kitty. " God knows, only for your sake,
I wouldn't make free wid a sodier o' King
George's ; — bud we 'd be in the guard-house
now, only for id."
" You jested, then ?"
" Never fear, my lady : I 'm not a bould
girl, though I used to be a sprightly one, an' a
little in the fashion o' makia' fools o' the men
whenever it sarved my turn, or come into my
" Well, Kitty, I must overlook your depar-
ture from the truth, so much less an error dian
I supposed you guilty of, out of gratitude to
your motive; though I believe no necessity
warrants us to say the thing that is not, or to
THE CROPPY. 215
promise without intending to perform : and in-
deed I wronged you by so quickly supposing
you a wicked girl."
*' Thry me, my lady, an' if you don't find
Kitty Delouchery honest — why, then — " and
Kitty's voice trembled — " why then tell her fa-
ther of her, an' that 'ill be enough ; he'd kill
her wid his own hand."
" You may pass, my good girls, with the
greatest pleasure," said the burly, waddHng sen-
tinel, advancing politely, his cap almost resting
on his nose, and both his arms hugging his
musket, not affectionately, but in instinctive
terror, lest (as a monster of its kindred once
before did) it might get loose and play him
" If I mistake not. Sir, I address Mr. Jen-
nings, of Wexford," said Eliza.
'' Upon my word and credit, Miss, and so you
do ;" the turn of respect was unconsciously ren-
dered to Eliza's superior accent.
" Then, Sir, without hesitation, I claim the
protection of your roof ; if, indeed, you have a
home in Ross."
" Why, upon my credit, my dear," altering
his favourable impressions of Eliza, as he very
oddly misconstrued her request : ''' upon my
216 THE CROPPY.
credit, my dear, I don't know how that will be :
I 'm a quiet, regular man ; and though, as it
happens, I have a house in Ross, at present I
don't think it 's a place for young women : —
my wife — ''
*' I see you do not know me, Mr. Jennings,
though I thought you would — but look again,"
throwing aside her cloak, " I am the daughter of
Sir Thomas Hartley, who has been a friend of
yours, when you lived in Wexford, and who
had the pleasure of taking you home safe to
your family, after your accident at the review."
" Sir Thomas's daughther ?""
''' Yes, Sir ; at present friendless and unpro-
tected, and compelled to fly from her enemies,
and crave the charity of a roof to cover her.''
** Oh, poor young lady ! — oh, God pity you ! —
oh, yes, I heard of it. — Oh, dear me! — oh, come,
Miss Hartley, upon my word and credit, and
I '11 see you to my house, sure enough; and my
poor wife and little daughthers will be glad and
proud to have you in it : they '11 never forget,
no more than myself, that day, when Sir Tho-
mas, and now I remember, yourself along with
him, Miss, handed me out of his own carriage,
at the very dour o' the shop. Come, Miss,
come — "" he was preparing to bustle forward —
THE CROPPY. 217
*' but, upon my word and credit, they won't let
me lave this till some one comes to stand in my
place. Oh, Miss Hartley," and his voice sank
to querulous complaint — " isn't it a miserable
case for a quiet man like me, that has no more
notion — no, I take ray God to witness —no more
notion of doing any one any harm than the
babby on its mother's breast, to be forced to be
out of his comfortable bed at this time o'night ?
marching about, and standing in the could
night-air, in this way, and houlding a gun, that
you know, from what you Ve seen, is often the
death o"* people ?'"'
" Indeed, Sir, I think they might substitute
'^ An' them guns has a hathred to some peo-
ple above others," said Kitty Delouchery, who
had heard of Mr. Jennings's accident on the
'^ Upon my word I believe you, young
After some farther discourse, Mr. Jennings
invited Eliza and, as he understood Kitty to be,
her servant, to wait by his side, upon his post,
until he should be relieved, which he expected
would very shortly occur. But Eliza was
averse to the observation which this might oc-
VOL. III. L
818 THE CROPPY.
casion, and also fearful, that by it strangers
would become aware of her intention to accom-
pany Mr. Jennings home ; a fact she wished to
conceal, lest Talbot might profit by it. She
demurred, therefore, to Mr. Jennings's offer,
and arranged instead, that, until he should be
free, she and Kitty would await him at the
house of Nanny's daughter, whither Kitty un-
dertook to conduct our heroine ; " the ways o'
the place" being well known to the young
coquette, as may be inferred from her dialogue
wath the susceptible dragoon.
Until really put to task, the inexperienced
human mind can form no idea of its own powers
of endurance. If, but a fortnight since, any
one had prophesied to Eliza the accumulation
of misery which she now experienced, she would
have said that her death, or the deprivation of
her senses, must have resulted from it. And,
indeed, were she called upon only to bear, as
she might, the anguish of her father's sudden
and shameful death, and the fears of her hus-
band's ruin along with it, it is probable that
Eliza might have lay stunned under two such
deadly blows : but the eager impulse to avoid
a new evil, which, as a woman and a lady, her
soul instinctively shrank from, supplied, by a
THE CROPPY. 9X9
last appeal to her energies, the capability to
struggle against her less recent trials.
Eliza's sense of her desolate and miserable
situation, however, was not, amid all her pre-
sent efforts to avoid a fell enemy, the less poig-
nant or absorbing ; and as she and Kitty Gow,
after much knocking at the door of a very
humble house, at last sat down in the little
huxter's shop, of which Nanny's daughter was
proprietor, to await the charitable offices of
Mr. Jennings, her reflections caused her to
wring her hands in agony.
Mr. Jennings had fled from Wexford, upon
the day of its evacuation by the King'*s forces,
to a brother in Ross, his wife and children ac-
companying, and often supporting him, along
the sultry and dusty road. Unluckily, he did
not, upon his safe arrival in the town, lay aside
his military jacket, (although he had promptly
forsaken his musket,) and he was therefore in-
cluded in the general muster set on foot to op-
pose the continued successes of the insurgents.
It will be believed, that he remonstrated against
the evident injustice, as well as inhospitality, of
thus binding him to the very stake which he
had abandoned his own native place to avoid ;
and indeed he would have bluntly refused again
to bear arms, if he did not fear immediate per-
secution, and very probably death, as a sus-
pected rebel, in consequence of his demur.
Our young adventurers had not to wait long
for his coming. " He was let home for a while
to take a bit of supper, and God knows it was
only his due, afther walking and walking about
for three long hours, when he ought to be out
of his first sleep."
" I '11 carry the goon for you, Sir," offered
** Eh !" he cried, amazed at her hardihood,
" won 't you be afraid of it, child ? It 's loaded,
" Not a bit afeard. Sir ; often I shot a crow
when he 'd be pickin*" the barley on us."
" Why, then, upon my word, here it 's for
you — but take care, child — the laste thing in
the world would let it off. Oh, Lord ! turn the
muzzle away, child !" as Kitty, shouldering her
piece, slanted it towards him.
Arrived at his own door, Mr. Jennings's timid
double- knock, somewhat between the plebeian
single blow, and the more elegant tantararara,
caused a great fuss within. More than one pair
of feet hurried doAvn-stairs ; " Make haste,
Peggy V^ cried a shrill female voice ; then two
THE CROPPY. 221
persons were heard unlocking and unbolting
the door ; '' Slip the boult, and I '11 turn the
kay," was the agreement between the anxious
little daughters ; and as the father entered, he
was so embraced and caressed by them, and by
his wife, who now had descended, that for some
time his companions escaped notice. He kissed
his lady and his children with grateful rapture
that he beheld them again, and wiping his
forehead of its honourable moisture, bustled
into his sitting-room. Here he bethought
of presenting Eliza, and stating her name and
unhappy situation, she was welcomed with
a respectful cordiality which soothed her sick
heart. And then ensued the disarming of the
soldier ; his cap was laid aside ; his grievous
belts and gaiters unbuckled and unbuttoned ;
and, at his particular request, in order that none
of his family might run the hazard, Kitty
placed his musket in a far corner.
A homely supper now appeared, and pressing
Eliza to join him, he engaged it heartily. By
the time he had satisfied his appetite, his wife
handed him a tumbler of whiskey-punch, of
which she had previously, and more than once,
tasted a little in the spoon, adding at each trial,
sugar, or water, or spirits, or lemon, until she
222 THE CROPPY.
quite assured herself that it was exactly of the
flavour which, by long experience, she knew
would suit her husband's palate ; and while he
sipped it, he told of his patrolling through the
streets, and of his standing sentinel to keep
people from coming into the town, unless they
said " General Johnson for him," and sincerely
were his warlike labours commiserated by the
During this, Eliza was permitted, almost
uninterruptedly, to pursue her own thoughts;
for though her present protectors could do a
kind action, they knew not how, particularly if
appealed to by their own concerns at the same
time, to do it gracefully or very considerately.
Kitty Gow had retired to the kitchen. Sud-
denly a thundering peal rang at the hall-door.
All started in terror. Mr. Jennings was pe-
remptorily summoned forth to attend a full
muster of his corps : by accounts just received,
the entry of the rebels was instantly expected.
A scene ensued of bustle, weeping, and la-
menting. The poor man himself seemed over-
whelmed. Standing in the middle of the floor,
" Oh !'' he cried, the tears glazing his eyes,
^^am't I an unfortunate crature, this night to
be called to do, at my time o' life, what I never
THE CROPPY. 223
thought I was bom to do? Oh !" he gave a
lengthened groan, as one of his weeping daugh-
ters hung his Httle pouch across his protruding
body — " too tight, Peggy, my love. Anty," to
the other who knelt to button his gaiters — " God
bless you, Anty ! — if I'm never to see you again,
Biddy," cautiously accepting his musket from
his wife, — '' Biddy, you '11 take care of 'era if — "
his feelings abruptly hurried him out of the
room ; but he stopped and hesitated at the hall-
door, and stopt and hesitated again ; framing
many excuses to himself for a little respite of
time ; such as, " he forgot his snuff-box," or
*' he wanted to look at the flint of his fire-lock,"
or, '' he'd just wait while Anty ran up for his
nightcap, and thrust it into his pocket ;" — but
at length he set forth, his wife and children
hanging out of the windows to keep him in
view as long as he was spared to their sight,
and then they sank on chairs, brooding over the
Sounds of alarm and battle through the town
were anxiously listened for, as the signals of his
immediate peril. But none such arose. In
fact, the intelligence announced by Mr. Jen-
nings's summoners proved a false alarm ; and
at an advanced hour of the morning he was re-
224 THE CROPPY.
turned safe and sound to his family. " He 's
coming, mother !" shouted the daughters, who
had been watching him from a garret-window :
and, " Aha, Peggy !" he replied, shouting up to
his children from a distance, in a gay and
triumphant tone — " they were afraid of us, the
Hitherto, Eliza had been neglected. In the
relief afforded by Mr. Jennings's return, she
found herself kindly and officiously attended to.
Her wishes were consulted. She was served
with tea, that modern and most grateful bever-
age to the weary, and then ushered to a bed-
chamber ; where for some time we must leave
her, enjoying repose, we hope, while we turn to
other matters which nearly concern her.
THE CROPPY. 225
The little town of Ross is pleasantly, and,
for all the purposes of trade and commerce, if
either would but come to it, advantageously
situated. In fortunate England, it would long
ago have been a flourishing and wealthy place ;
in neglected Ireland, thirty years ago it was,
and at the present day it is, — and only give
some theorists their way, and at the day of
judgment it will still be — a few streets, half
alive, with creeping attempts at petty traffic,
and encumbered with a suburb of ruinous
hovels, which poverty and wretchedness have
marked for their own.
About a mile above it, two considerable
rivers mingle their waters, and flowing beneath
wooded height, or by verdant meadow, form
the fine river of Ross, a quarter of a mile broad,
almost of equal depth from bank to bank, and
226 THE CROPPY.
allowing, close to the quays of the town, safe
anchorage for vessels of several hundred of tons
Upon every side, hills rise precipitously
above the more important streets, such as they
are, the suburb climbing with them, often
against acclivities so sudden as to render the
ascent of the pedestrian a work of much labour.
From the opposite bank of the river, when the
distance is sufficient to obscure the frequent
features of want and ruin in the poorer dwell-
ings, and whence are prominently visible some
better structures, the church, and a mass of
monastic ruins, mingling with and ennobling the
cabins on the hill-side, all relieved by height
and slope, meadow and plantation, and having
for foreground below, the quay, and a few
taper-masted vessels at its side, — a whole pic-
ture is presented, which the lovers of landscape
would pronounce to be as peculiar as it is
Although styled New Ross, the little town
claims to be of great antiquity. Four centuries
since, it supported more than one monastery ;
upon the ruins of one of which the Protestant
church, at present standing on the hill-side,
has been erected. Beneath crumbling aisles.
THE CROPPY. 227
whence, in other days, floated the evening
chant across the broad water, may yet be vi-
sited, close to this new place of worship, vaults,
wherein lie scattered the blackened bones of the
once powerful or revered ministers of an older
ritual, whose knowledge, and often whose hands,
reared the lofty structure which, destroyed by
puritanical hatred more than by the gradual
touch of time, now refuses a decent grave to
the relics of its ancient masters. And stories
are related by local antiquaries of passages
under the river to the monastery of Rossbercon,
that crowns an opposite hill, and where the
paltry steeple of a Roman Catholic chapel
bears, to the pile that heretofore occupied its
site, even a more humbling comparison in the
minds of its visitors, than does the confronting
church of the Establishment to the massive ruins
with which it so badly groups.
Since 1641, when a battle of some moment
was fought near to Ross — and when Cromwell,
covering Ireland with desolation and carnage,
anticipated time in destroying the pile we have
alluded to — war had not visited the present
scene of our tale. Partly, perhaps, on that ac-
count the artificial defences of Ross had been
suffered to decay ; or, as before supposed, may
have been thrown down to allow of the exten-
sion of the streets.
Mr. Jennings received Eliza at one of the
still-enduring gateways of its old walls ; and
three similar ones then existed at different
points around the town. The complaisant sen-
tinel was on post at the Friary-gate. Another
on the hill above, and facing the north, gave
entrance, through a thatched outlet, into the
main street, which, winding down a long de-
scent, led to the market-house, whence diverged
the various other principal streets.
The third gate, also standing on the summit
of a hill, fronted the river. High above it, at
right angles with the river, clambered, for half
a mile's extent, the Irish-town, chiefly composed
of the residences of the poorer classes ; and
here fairs were hoi den ; and here stood the re-
mains of the ancient stone-cross, assigned by
Kitty Delouchery as the spot for her meeting
with the credulous dragoon ; a meeting which,
it is scarcely necessary to add, never took
place. Whether or not the disappointed soldier
adopted her alternative of " cutting it in two
wid his soord," may however seem a question ;
and it is answered in the negative, by stating
that the cross can yet be viewed in an un-
THE CROPPY. 2^
severed state ; but it is not as positively stated
that he did not, in his rage and chagrin, at
least make the attempt.
From the last-mentioned gate, the third,
the descent into the town was indeed preci-
pitous; requiring, from an inexperienced and
unexcited visitor, much cautious watchfulness
of his feet.
The fourth gate was situated in the hollow
to the North, and only approachable down yet
another hill. And rows of houses, running
upon the sites of the old defences, or other con-
siderable impediments, denied easy access to
the town of Ross, except through these gates.
The reader will soon see the necessity of this
description in this place ; for amid a scene of
quick and fiery action, we could scarce pause to
supply it ; and yet, in order that he may fully
understand that coming scene, it is proper to
make him acquainted with the localities of its
Notwithstanding the good omens in which he
had returned to his afflicted family, Mr. Jen-
nings was soon obliged to resume his military
duties, and starting from a sleep, in which he
would willingly have continued till the wars
were over, hastened forth in his pinching uni-
230 THE CROPPY.
form, and shouldering his dreaded weapon, to
join, amid real bustle, his watchful corps.
Horse, foot, and artillery came clattering and
thundering into the town ; and then, with all
the importance of men chosen as its defenders,
the formidable strangers went from house to
house in search of the best quarters, ridicuhng
those who could not protect themselves, and
bullying or threatening such as were suspected
of disloyalty. In the course of the day they
became variously occupied in defensive prepara-
tions. Some deepened the trenches before the
old gateways ; others grubbed the pavement of
the streets ascending to them, in order to facih-
tate the labour of dragging up cannon, destined
to be mounted at those important points ; others
strengthened the barriers : the companies not so
employed underwent inspection by their officers ;
ammunition was served out to all ; and, amid
the general clang and uproar, often might be
heard the cries of unhappy wretches suffering
torture to compel confession of their presumed
knowledge of the plans of the insurgents.
As darkness came on, the sounds of prepara-
tion increased and deepened, while they varied.
Drums beat to arms ; the trumpets gave the
note of equipment and muster ; with brows of
THE CROPPY. 231
resolute care, the commanders went from post
to post ; and as each band prepared to stand to
arms for the night, or hastened to an appointed
position, levity was discarded from the soldier's
Scouts brought certain intelligence of the ap-
proach of the rude enemy, and before night
had fully closed in, a moving black mass, com-
posed of the body of the expected assailants,
was seen, from the height called Three-bullet-
gate, clustering round a country-seat which
stood on an eminence about a mile distant.
When they could no longer be observed amid
the deepening darkness, their screams of defiance
reached the town. And then from the point
which had commanded a view of their uncouth
muster, guns were discharged against their po-
sition, with answer of readiness for encounter ;
and igniting their rusty and badly mounted en-
gines with matches of twisted straw, the insur-
gents broke the gloom around their high en-
campment with retorted roar and explosion,
while again the great shout of twenty tliousand
men told of anticipated triumph. The garrison
they threatened was something more than fif-
teen hundred strong.
After this interchange of defiance, compara-
232 THE CROPPY.
tive silence ensued in the little town ; but still
there was no relaxation from watchfulness
amongst its defenders, and no repose amongst
its startled inhabitants. Furious assault being
every instant expected, the soldiers stood at
their respective positions mute or whispering,
or calculating each unusual noise that reached
their ears. The people, to whom every thing
around them was novel, and whose notions of
hostile contention w^ere fearfully vague, expe-
rienced torturing suspense. In obedience to the
peremptory commands of their protectors, they
had extinguished their lights, shut up their
dwelhngs, and assumed the stillness of repose ;
but, indeed, only assumed it ; for in every
house the inmates crouched together, anticipat-
ing the struggle that was to decide their fate;
and often did they interpret the sentinels watch-
word into the signal of attack, and start and
tremble at the measured tread of the patroles.
The night advanced. All remained watchful,
anxious, yet undisturbed. And amid this deep
pause, two females were cautiously approaching
the insurgent position, having escaped, no one
knows how, from the jealously-guarded town.
By her curious hat, her low, burly figure,
and her almost preternatural mode of stumping
THE CROPPY. 233
along without the least sound, we recognize one
of them to be Nanny the Knitter ; and the free-
moving, erect, and tripping girl at her side, is
Kitty Delouchery, sent by our heroine, with
Nanny as her companion and ally, and after
profound consultations between them all the
live-long day, to discover tidings of Sir William
Judkin amongst the Wexford Army of Free-
dom ; and, should he fortunately be discovered,
to acquaint him with the present situation of
About four miles distant from Ross is the hill
of Carrickburne, one of those rocky elevations
for which, as elsewhere mentioned, the County
of Wexford is remarkable, and distinguished at a
distance by the hard outline its curiously-curving
brow describes against the horizon.* And on this
* This hill is also noted as a horrid remembrancer
of the times we would illustrate. Beneath its rugged
sides, where a patch of soft verdure contrasts with the
surrounding barrenness^ stood a large barn, used as a
prison by the infuriated insurgents^ in which a number
of human beings, of the two sexes, and of every age,
were burnt alive. 'WTiether or not this abominable act
is to be visited on the general body of the armed pea-
sants, remains a question. Their historians or apolo-
gists deny that it is so, and by their statements we
are instructed to seek for the authors of the hideous
occurrence amongst the cowardly who had fled from bat-
eminence nearly the whole armed population of
the county had lately assembled, and thence did
twenty thousand of their body descend and take
up, at Corbet-hill, — the name of the country-
seat previously mentioned, — their position for
the attack of Ross.
The mansion so called was one of some con-
sequence. A. lawn, bounded by a semicircular
enclosure of trees, sloped to its rear ; and ano-
ther, sheltered at either hand by shadowing
screens of foliage, descended from the front-
Within less than an hour of dawn, the time
at which Nanny the Knitter and Kitty Gow
visited this place of encampment, few of the
rudely-equipped force remained waking. Still
covered solely by the serene summer sky, they
stretched in dark masses upon both lawns, to
the front and to the rear of the house ; their
sleep rendered intense by the fatigues of many
days and nights, or else by the whiskey they
had lately been quaffing, and which formed a
considerable part of their commissariat stores ;
tie, or the ferocious, who were maddened into revenge
by burnings and torturings inflicted on themselves or
upon their relatives, or committed a short distance from
the site of the memorable barn.
THE CROPPY. 235
or some more cautious slumberers lay huddled
together under the imaginary shelter of the
branching trees, or in the ditch, beneath the
inclosing fence. And female figures might be
distinguished amid this stilly multitude of hu-
man beings; and at their feet, or on their
bosoms, children and infants ; for families fre-
quently slept together in these primitive en-
campments; and, perhaps, before the armed
brother, or husband, or son, disposed himself
for repose by their side, he first bent his steps
to pull them a couch of green hay from the
The greater number of the men had sank
down, clasping their unburn] shed guns, or their
pikes, closely in their arms, as if the business to
be encountered at morning's dawn had formed
their last waking thoughts. But many wea-
pons, dropped from less careful hands, strewed
the grass ; and others stood upright in the
sod, having been stuck into it ere their owners
lay down to sleep. Ill-fashioned flags, with
rude devices, generally green, but often of
every other colour, save that of the detested
orange, drooped in the breezeless night upon
poles fixed in the earth ; and these were intend-
ed as rallying points for distinct throngs at the
S36 THE CROFPY.
morning's muster. In the middle of the front
lawn appeared five or six ill-matched cannon,
two of which were tied with ropes to those small
rustic cars, peculiar, we believe, to Ireland.
The principal leaders had taken up their
quarters in Corbet-Hill House ; and the scene
described would have been one of almost breath-
less silence, but that some of their number, the
commander-in-chief, as he was called, at their
head, yet prolonged, amid disjointed argu-
ments upon the issue of the coming day, voci-
feration or wild shouts of ebriety, which echo-
ing over the lawns, were the only sounds suc-
ceeding to the late cries and clamour of twenty
thousand tongues. Nor, indeed, did these few
signals of waking, where so many slumbered,
take away from the deep effect of general re-
pose, nor derive, from the close presence of the
stilled host, any thing to disturb the idea that
they bespoke a scene of worse than solitary
As yet unobserved and unquestioned, Nanny
and Kitt}^ cautiously approached the avenue
that led to the house.
"An' there's no doubt, Nanny, but v/e '11
find him here ?" asked Kitty, in a whisper.
" He 's here, I'm tould, of a sart'nty, Kitty,
THE CROPPY. 237
my honey pet ; an' the more 's the pity ; — what
'ill become iv him when the wars is over, I
" Sure the Croppies '11 gain the day,
" Ntchee, Ntchee : God help your young
head, Kitty, my pet ! no, nor the night, nei-
ther. King George '11 have the upper hand,
in the long run, as sure as I 'm a lump iv a
" Stop, your sowl — listen to that — maybe
there's not friends near us," said Kitty; and
both listened to the burden of a song, chant-
ed in loud though not unpleasing tones, some
short distance in the direction they were tak-
ing. After the burden the whole song was
gone through, and is here presented, as a ge-
nuine specimen of the ballad-making talent of
many of the insurgents.
On Owlard-hill the war it begun,
An' its there we gained the North-Cork man's gun ;
To take Enniscorthy then was our intent.
An' we 're the boys that '11 pay no rent.
Sing the-too-rol-lol, fol-the-too-rol-lee,
Fol, lol, lol, fol-the-too-rol-lee !
Long life to Father John, an' long may he reign,
Capt'n Perry also, an' Edmun' Kane,
238 THE CROPPY.
It 's they will win both counthry an* toun,
An' we '11 never give up till we pull the Orange down.
Come hither, my boys, that never war afraid.
To walk all night wid your green cockade,
Showldher afther me your pike an' gun.
Every one like ould Grawna's son.
A loud and long '^ all's well V pealed from
the singer's throat as he ended his ditty, and
was taken up and repeated by many other
voices, near and distant, around the encamp-
ment; for, in imitation of the more regular
force they opposed, the insurgents, catching
the watch-word from the near videttes, pushed
beyond the gates of Ross, thus endeavoured to
manifest their important pretensions to the cha-
racter of a regular army.
With exulting alertness, Kitty Deiouchery
tripped forward some paces, and clearing her
pipe, chanted in her best key, and that was
not a bad one, the following responses to the
Farewell, my tendher Kitty, it is my cruel fate.
To desert my ruined dwelling, no longer can I wait ;
THE CROPPY. 239
The green flag it is fl}'ing, with its harp and shining
An' the Waxford boys, like lions bould^ are marching
to the field.*; —
How they shout out to rouse me ! and those words
Arise, my Waxford champions, and to victory take
your way !
" Success to your pipe, you duck o' the
world!'' cried the sentinel, running forward ; —
" come here till I take you prisoner, you rogue,
But in some misgiving, Kitty drew back into
the shade, as she caught imperfectly a view of
the figure that approached. The song, and the
tone in which it had been executed, proclaimed
Tim Reily ; but surely not so did the capari-
son of the man she now beheld before her.
" Where are you, my darlin' ?" he continued ;
" by the pike in my hand, I '11 have you, sup-
posin' I run fifty miles a-head ! — aha ! maybe
you think I don't see you !" he cried, grasping
Nanny the Knitter by the shoulder.
" I 'm only a poor ould sinner, my honey,"
— began Nanny, in her usual formula of peti-
tion ; the grasp was loosened.
40 THE CROP PY.
" Och ! tundher-an'-turf ! an' sure I made a
mistake : an' it 's not nathVal to me to ketch
hoult iv an ould woman, instid iv a young girl,
either. Arrah, then, Nanny, wasn't Kitty De-
louchery wid you ? — I 'd swear ten oaths 'twas
she gave a purth o' the song I made for her."
" Hi, hi !" giggled Kitty from her covert,
now certain of her man, notwithstanding his
very suspicious equipment.
" An' maybe I don't know the manin' o'
that," shouted Tim as he capered to seek her.
There was an instant's shuffling under the deep
shadow of the trees, which Nanny could not
precisely make out ; but after, as she called it,
some " hugger-mugger" discourse, she over-
heard the following conversation.
'* Ah, then, for goodness sake, Tim, what
sort iv a dhress is that upon you ? I 'd lay a
bet I seen the likes on some o' King George's
" Faix, an' maybe you did ! an' it 's a sin an'
a shame that the daylight isn't wid us, till
you 'd see me proper : divil so purthy a hoos-
sian ever your two eyes opened on, a canna."
" A hoossian ! — English me that, Tim, an'
I'll say thankee."
'' Why, then, I '11 tell you, Kitty, my duck :
THE CROPPY. 241
them hoossians, they 're horse-throopers that 's
come from far'n parts to fight the poor Crop-
pies ; an' if you war to hear 'em spakin' ! — the
likes o' their talk never came out iv a Christhen
mouth afore : bud there 's one comfort ; it
isn't Christhen mouths is on their ugly faces ;
an' they have two whiskers o' beard over their
lips ; an' they discoorse like born brothers wid
their horses ; urragh, vul/uck, they say, an'
then the horses makes answer afther the same
" Sure you 're makin' fun, Tim."
" In throth I'm not, Kitty, bud as downright
arnest as ever I was in my life."
" You might asy be that, Tim."
" What matther, a-lanna, — we can't be merry
in the grave ; so, we '11 laugh an' be fat here;
on the face o' the livin' y earth. Bud, as I was
sayin' to you, them hoossians are great bastes
for purshuin' the poor counthry girls at every
hand 's turn ; an' so, I was comin' along the
road, wid the pike in my fist, an' I seen a
hoossian ridin' agin me, an' I hid myself to
let him pass by ; an' the thruth iv a nate
purty crature, crossed ~ a stile, at the same
time, an' he spurred his horse afther her, an'
as they both war comin* near me, 1 stepped
VOL. HI. M
^4® THE CItOPPY.
out, a bit, an* she ran to me, callin' me honest
boy, an' axin me to save her; up comes the
hoossian gallopin' : an' ' ullagh guUuch ghrow
fraw thruff^ says he to myself; ' ulluch^ guU
Inch, gruff, an' to the ould divil wid you !'
says I ; an' at the word he reined back his
horse, an' made him dance on his hindher legs,
that he might have a good slash at me ; bud I
was afore hand wid him : the pike slipt into the
horse's heart, afther a manner it has ; ay, an'
before he could say gulluch gruff to me again,
it slipt through his own heart."
" Stdut was your fist, Tim : an' so that's the
way you got your quare clothes ?"
" Faix, an' it is, Kitty ! I began to look at
him, when I had the time for id ; an', says I to
mysef, isn't this a green jacket an"* a green
breeches on the baste iv a feUow? an' sure
green is the poor Croppy's colour, an' maybe I
won't put 'em on my own sef, jest to be like any
soger ; so I was skinnin' him of the both, when
up comes another Croppy, goin' for the camp,
too ; an', ' I cry halves,' he says ; 'Bother !' says
I, makin' answer the way he desarved ; ^ botlier,
my boy, go an' kill a hoossian for yoursef."*
* An expression really originating from the Insurrec-
tion of 1798, and well-known all over Ireland, though
THE CROPPY. 243
Much more characteristic conversation ensu-
ed between them, ere Tim at length thought of
inquiring why his mistress was thus rambhng at
night. But as soon as he ascertained the nature
of her mission to " the camp/' he at once con-
firmed Nanny's surmises that Sir Wilham was
at present amongst the insurgent force on the
height ; and only stipulating that so long as
they remained unobserved, his protecting arm
should encircle her waist — (Nanny was not,
and indeed did not consider herself a critic from
whom any such little freedom ought to be dis-
guised,) — Tim then led Kitty in search of the
Baronet ; the reflections that his young mistress
was thereby to be served, adding energy to his
While the great throng assembled for the
assault of Ross lay sunk in deepest sleep, and
while the most convivial of their captains pro-
longed their midnight revelry, there was one
who neither sought to sliare the oblivious slum-
bers of the first, nor the care-drowning libations
of the others. With arms folded hard across
his body, he paced up and down before the
for the first time traced to its real source; indeed, it has
become a bye- word in the sister-island ; tantamount, to
" win gold and wear it."
244 THE CROPPY.
door of Corbet-hill House ; and sometimes he
would pause, and seemingly after a moment's
thought stamp violently with either foot, and
again resume his hurried and irregular strides.
" If I 'm not a blind man, Kitty, my duck ;
an' sure, if I was, you wouldn't be dyin' in love
wid me as you are ; there 's the gintleman you
want,"" said Tim Reilly.
" Faix, my honey, it 's him, sure enough !
make up to him, both o' ye, an' tell him your
arrand ; becase I 'd rather o' the two not to go
near him," remarked Nanny.
" Why so, Nanny .?" asked Kitty.
'^ He hasn't a likin' for me, I believe ; he
was oncet goin' to toss my poor lump iv a body
out iv a windee, an' that 'ud be the death o' me,
there 's no doubt."
Tim and Kitty approached Sir William. He
seemed unconscious of their presence until Tim
" Here 's a purty little girl, your honour,"
holding Kitty by the arm.
" What does she want, fellow ?" questioned
the Baronet, stopping suddenly, and speaking so
vehemently that both reeled backward.
" She only wants to be spakin' vid your
honour," resumed Tim, in a voice of humility.
THE CROPPY. 24?5
" Pitch her to the thousand furies !" cried
Sir William ; '^ she and all of her sex — and,
begone, scoundrel !"
''Pitch her where?" muttered Tim, closing
his fingers on his pike-handle ; " show me the
man that '11 pitch her anywhere, half a quar-
ter iv a yard, an' he won't be thankful for his
"Never heed the poor young gintleman,
Tim ; he 's cracked vid his thrials, an' doesn't
know what he 's sayin','' whispered Kitty.
" Threu for you, Kitty ; bud I forgot it
when he talked o' doin' any thing to you.'"*
" Tim is only comin' to tell your honour
where to find the poor young misthress," re-
" Hah !" Sir WilHam again stopped and ea-
gerly fixed his eyes on them, — " where to find
Lady Judkin, you mean ?''^
" Yes, Sir ; my lady is in an honest house in
the town, there below, an' longin' in her heart
to see your honour.'"'
'' Lead me thither instantly !"• he spoke in
high exultation, striking his hands together.
The impossibility of getting into Ross unob-
served now that the day had begun to break,
was stated to him by Kitty and Tim, in a breath.
S46 THE CROPPY.
" But," continued Kitty," when the night comes
again, I '11 lade your honour, by a way I know,
to the very house, an' into the house, more be
" Faith, we '11 all be in Ross town afore the
next night, Kitty — or what did we come here
for V said Tim.
" True, my lad ! true ! ay — before the sun
is two hours over the hills !" he rushed from
them to the door of the house. " Come ! I'll live
a day yet, and perhaps not in vain ! — enjoyment
— triumph — revenge — then, death the next in-
stant, and I can laugh in his face in my last
He broke into the house ; he announced the
morning light to the scarce sober leaders ; he
ran out from them, first to the front, and then
to the back lawn, and shouted away the sleep
from the yet slumbering multitude ; and with
the earliest blush of a lovely morning, all was
stir and bustle, where but a moment previously
all had been forgetfulness and silence.
THE CROPPY. 247
The banners were quickly snatched up, and
their bearers, waving them to and fro, loudly-
repeated the names of the parishes to which
each belonged, as the shortest method of muster-
ing their followers ; and in broken groups the
natives of different districts rushed to obey the
summons. The principal leaders mounted their
horses ; amongst them the dingy sables of four
priests appearing oddly contrasted with their
The person who had been appointed com-
mander-in-chief, and who was a Protestant gen-
tleman of considerable property in the country,
and much deficient, by the way, in the men-
tal endowments necessary for his new sta-
tion, began, according to previous plans, to di-
vide his forces for the attack, when Sir Wil-
liam Judkin observed a horseman, bearing a
248 THE CROPPY.
white handkerchief on a pole, prepare to set out
towards the town. He guessed his purpose.
" You go with a flag of parley, Sir ?"
" With a summons to surrender. Sir Wil-
hara; which, if they Ve wise, they '11 listen to.*"
" I am with you, if you do not object."
'•• 'Tis a mission of some danger; but your
company is welcome, since you offer.*"
Sir Wilham thanked this person, who seemed
a man somewhat above the middle rank. A
green ribbon round his hat, and another cross-
ing his shoulder, bespoke a leader of import-
ance ; and a brace of pistols, and a sheathed
sabre, most probably the spoils of conquest,
were thrust into a strap that encircled his
At a brisk pace they advanced to the town.
They were within a quarter of a mile of one
of the gates, and could see the soldiers drawn
out before the barriers, as they had been sta-
tioned during the night, ready for encounter.
" Halt, and give the counter-sign !" cried a
sentinel in advance.
" A flag to your general," answered the
herald, waving his emblem of oflice. Almost
before he heard the explosion that sent the
bullet through his brain, he fell dead from his
THE CROPPY. 249
saddle. Sir William fired in return, missed his
man, and then galloped back, while a volley
from the line that covered the gate followed his
retreat ; and as he rode up to Corbet-hill House,
he could see that many balls which had missed
and passed him, had made corses among the
strao^o'lers at the bottom of the eminence.
" Where 's my masther, Sir ?" cried a strip-
ling of sixteen, catching at his bridle as he rode
on : " where "*s Mr. Furlong, that went wid the
" Shot, my man !" and Sir Wilham broke
from him, but not before he lieard —
*' Why, then, may the Orange conquer us !
bud I '11 have the best blood among 'em for
my masther's ;" and the lad, peering at the flint
of his pistol, mingled with the crowd.
It had been loosely planned by the leaders,
while inspired by the libations of the preceding
night, that their force should be divided into
three bodies, destined to assault Ross, simul-
taneously, at three distinct points. But the
attempt to carry this resolution into effect was
attended with no little difficulty. They were,
in truth, but the heads of a mob, yet unreduced
to any thing like order, yet unconscious of good
to be derived from previous arrangement, and
250 THE CROPPY.
who could form no idea of attack, save that in-
spired by wild impulse, and obeyed by one fu-
rious rush upon their foes. When, therefore,
the captains spoke of precaution, and of a plan,
they were only understood to be actuated by
doubts of success as to the issue of a bold onset;
and a vague notion of danger, ah'eady appre-
liended, began to pervade the assemblage.
The leaders themselves, mostly pushed into re-
putation and ascendancy by the personal prowess
that urged them to head their followers through
the thickest danger, and otherwise unfitted for
command, proved as incompetent to execute
their purpose, as did the rude force to under-
stand it. A necessity for a divided yet regu-
lar attack had been half-impressed on their
minds, but they came to their preparatory task
without reflection, and consequently could not
apply themselves to arranging, in detail, the
crude materials which were to be directed to
When Sir William Judkin approached the
position he had just left, the attempted prepara-
tions for the coming fight produced therefore
such a scene of tumult, as already boded the
impracticability of acting upon any cool plan.
The commanders vociferated their orders often
THE CROPPY. 251
different to one and the same band ; or cursed,
or imprecated, or used violence to enforce them ;
the men as loudly exhorted each other, or re-
jected the authority which enjoined movements
they could not comprehend, or were afraid to
obey. Mingling and hustling, and dividing,
and mingUng again, the unmanageable mass
wavered over the brow of the eminence ; while
from the out-posts of their watchful enemies,
well-directed volleys often brought down num-
bers amongst them, increasing, doubtless, the
general disinclination to onset.
At this moment Sir William Judkin spurred
into the middle of the concourse.
" All accommodation is at an end !" he
shouted. " Your flag has been insulted! — your
messenger shot by my side ! down upon tliem,
Wexford boys ! if only for revenge !"
This appeal, seeming to advise the only mode
o£ proceeding that could be relished, partially
supplied the impulse that was wanted. The
motive for immediate vengeance passed from
tongue to tongue; a resolved and desperate
shout followed ; as if by general assent, a great
number flung aside their coats, shoes, and
stockings ; and before the uncombined move-
ment could be checked, seven thousand screaming
252 THE CROPpy.
men, those with fire-arms leading the van, while
the black-headed pikes bristled high over the
heads of their main body, were rushing down
the hill upon Ross.
Confusion and dismay ensued amongst the
chief leaders, left behind, with nearly two-thirds
of their whole force. All their plans were thus
accidentally disarranged, and they stood power-
less. The person called commander-in-chief
exerted his voice to arrest the progress of the
impetuous detachment ; but he was not heeded.
Some of his inferior officers, seeing it useless to
remonstrate any longer, hastened down from
Corbet-hill, to place themselves at the head of
those whom they could not control. Others,
still hoping to connect with the sudden diversion,
a simultaneous attack upon the town, at three
points, laboured to divide and separately to
direct the great body around them. But their
agitation and unassured manner quickly com-
municated itself to their foUow^ers ; their want
of judicious method added to the impression ;
and, at the ill-judged cry of " Down, Wexford
men, or all is lost !*" they were left almost alone
on the height, the distracted mob flying w^ith
their backs to Ross : so that of twenty thou-
sand, destined the previous evening to seize up-
on the town, little more than eight thousand en-
gaged in the affair.
And at the head of these eight thousand,
driven onward by his seconders, rather than
leading them, did Sir Wilham Judkin now
spur his horse.
The mad shouts of the assailants sank into
silent purpose, as they drove through the way
leading to the verge of the descent, at the bot-
tom of which Ross was situated. The advanc-
ed sentinels fled before them. They heard the
gallop of horse coming on. They paused.
Dragoons swept around a curve of the I'oad,
charging at a gallop. With a renewed yell the
insurgents rushed to meet them. Fire-arms
were discharged on both sides ; numbers of the
peasant force fell ; but they pressed over the
bodies of their companions, now showing a front
of pikes. Again the dragoons fired, and then
wheeled round, and rapidly retreated. Their
foes quickened their tramp to a race.
The horsemen, in sweeping upon the town,
dispirited, by their flight, the advanced body of
infantry at the gate, who faced about, not wait-
ing the assailants. Sir William Judkin saw
his men come close upon the entrenched and
barricaded entrance. Here, cannon opened
254 THE CROPPY.
upon them, each shot making a path through
the thickly-wedged mass, and promising to
protect the dragoons who, hard pressed by bare-
footed foes, almost as fleet as the beasts they
bestrode, and not able to cross the deep trench
before them, wheeled to the right, down a
narrow way, leading into the centre of the
suburb before described as stretching from the
fair gate up the heights over the town.
" Surround them in the Boreen-na-Slau-
nagh r shouted Sir William ; — and being an-
swered by a fierce cry, he led part of his adhe-
rents over a fence near at hand, and was fol-
lowed at a speed that put his horse to his
The result answered his expectations. He
and his detachment were on the narrow road
before the dragoons ; the remaining force pressed
the horsemen in the rear.
" Now, my boys, no quarter ! some of them
are Talbofs hangmen !"
His advice was scarcely necessary. The
dragoons could but once draw their triggers,
when, except two, who broke in desperation
through the throng, and galloped, at peril of
their necks, down almost a precipice into the
town, they were piked to death in a few
THE CROPPY. 255
minutes. Even their horses, as if identified
with themselves, shared the hate, the rage, and
the deadly thrusts which so quickly dispatched
the riders. And while still engaged in their
work of slaughter, the exulting yells of the
victors rang with ominous effect through the
"To the Three-bullet-gate, my gallant boys !"
again cheered their young leader, and again an
answering shout prefaced their return to that
important point : and they bounded upward
with unslackened speed.
The cannon did not now roar at them, as a
second time they thronged to its mouth. An
officer, visibly of rank, — a commander of title,
indeed, — appeared on horseback between them
and the trench, waving his sword in token of
parley. The insurgent body suddenly halted
close to him.
" What is it you seek, my lads V he began,
and while he spoke, a bare-legged boy advanced
closer than the others, as if stupidly attending
to his address : " why do you thus foolishly
oppose the King's forces ? state your demands
to me, and if a compromise can be effected, we
will avoid the shedding of blood — "
Ere the last words were wafted from his lips,
^6 THE CROPPy.
the stripling's aspect changed into the fierce
wildness of the tiger's, as, snatching a pistol
from his bosom, he shot the noble mediator
through the heart, who instantly tumbled into
" Now, masther, there's a life for your life T'
cried the young assassin, bounding high in
ecstasy : " it wasn't to see you killed widout
a life for id, that you brought me up undher
The field-pieces on the trench flashed and
bellowed ; the infantry drawn up behind it sent
in their accompanying volleys; guns from the
hill-side within the town supported both ; and
numbers of the insurgent throngs paid forfeit
for the much-regretted (and still-regretted) life
thus treacherously taken.
But the maddened assailants, mounting upon
the heaps of slain which rapidly filled the
trench, only redoubled their efforts to possess
the gate. They were repulsed three times,
steadily, and with great loss. A fourth -time
had the gunners loaded to sweep back a fourth
assault, and their matches were approaching the
guns, when from a wall to the right of the
gate, and to which the trench ran, jumped a
band of almost naked men, who to gain this
THE CROPPY. 257
point had taken an unobserved circuit. Before
they could be aware of their danger, the
cannoneers lay stretched under their carriages ;
and in another instant the guns were wheeled
round and discharged upon their own infantry.
At the same time, the main force of the insur-
gents easily crossed the trench, over the dead
bodies that filled it, and, pike in hand, fol-
lowed up the unexpected salute by a charge.
Their fury, their numbers, and their fearful
weapon, could not be resisted ; and as the re-
treating soldiers descended the steep street into
the middle of the town, the cannon was once
more discharged upon them. The screaming
foe sprang down in pursuit, sometimes checked
by a murderous volley sent up from the in-
fantry, who would momentarily pause and face
round to give it ; sometimes by the bayonet,
which, with little chance of success, clashed
against the pike.
Besides those who entered by the gate, num-
bers came pouring down the hilly suburb and
streets that faced the river ; and whenever a
musket flashed, they sprang to its muzzle, still
shouting at death, and overwhelming opposi-
tion. They gained the outskirts of the lower
and principal part of the town, where stood the
^58 THE CROPPY.
market-house, a building with open arches
below, and with public-rooms overhead, sur-
mounted by a cupola.
Here almost the whole remaining garrison
had become concentrated ; and here was the
sturdiest struggle. Even as the assailants rush-
ed down the street which led to this little cita-
del, volley after volley still thinned their ranks ;
at a closer approach, cannon again blasted
showers of shot upon them from beneath the
arches, and from every window overhead the
glittering tabes of infantry well seconded the
larger engines ; while between each pause of
the fire, horsemen charged against the rushing
concourse. The contest gradually became as-
tounding. In answer to the harsh and inces-
sant explosions of musketry, and the bellowing
of the guns, the insurgents sent back their
hoarse yet tremendous shouts : over heaps and
heaps of their own slain they continued to
bound, always driving back the dragoons ; and
to eke out the din and the fury of the scene,
the crackling and roar of burning dwellings,
and the shivering of windows by ball, or by the
exploding air within, soon began to be heard,
and the smoke of conflagration mingled with
that of the hot engagement.
THE CROPPiT. 259
And amid this scene was the fate of Eliza
Hartley to be decided.
She stood in an open window of Mr. Jen-
ning's house, near to the market-place, but
out of range of the volleys thence sent forth, en-
deavouring to catch, through the clamour of
human voices which added to the general roar
and clang, one accent of one voice that it would
have been joy to hear, and to select from
amongst the dense phalanx of insurgents, the
figure of one individual for whose safety her
prayers fervently petitioned Heaven.
A horseman spurred his jaded horse up an
unencumbered street towards her.
'' It 's he, my lady !" shouted Kitty Delou-
chery, who stood by her side ; and the girl
quickly descended to admit Sir William Jud-
kin, while Eliza extended her arms towards
her husband. She saw him halt, look up,
brush his bloody hand across his forehead and
eyes, as if to clear his vision, look up again,
and then he took off his hat, and waved it.
"Hasten!" cried Eliza. "Beloved!" he
shouted in reply, and spurred to the door.
" Oh, hasten, hasten !" — repeated Eliza, as
another horseman, whom previously her anxi-
ous eye had caught, closed on Sir William,
260 THE CilOPPY.
darting the rowels into his steed until, at
each spring forward, the animal's hoofs struck
sparkles from the pavement.
" Turn, rebel ! — turn from that house !" —
exclaimed the pursuer, in the well-known tones
of Talbot. His sabre was bared and raised,
almost over his rival's head.*"
" My husband ! spare my husband !" cried
Eliza; but she was unheard amid the din
around her, or, if heard, unheeded by the
ears to which she addressed herself. Sir
William wheeled about ; and, distinct from
every other sound of strife, she caught his
" By the heavens, this is sweet ! My love
and my triumph together !" —
Ehza leaned from the window, unconscious
of danger, for she saw but two persons in dead-
ly conflict, where thousands were striking for
each other's heart's-blood. The arms were
stretched forward, and, at first, her hands re-
mained apart, but suddenly she struck them
together, her fingers entwined, her white lips
parted, her rounded eyes seemed as if they
would fly to the objects that fascinated them,
and her unequal breath, previously kept in,
THE CROFPY. ^61
escaped slowly, as if fearful to disturb her
Sir William was armed with a rude weapon ;
it had been a pike, but the handle had become
shivered, leaving it no more than about four
feet in length, of which the blade was nearly
two. Holding this in his bridle-hand, he drew
a pistol with his right, and fired. The ball
whizzed harmlessly. He changed the fragment
of a pike from one hand to the other, and rais-
ing it high, spurred against his watchful oppo-
nent. By adroitly wheeling round, Talbot
scarce avoided the deadly thrust, while with
the force of his onset. Sir William past him,
losing his weapon. Then Eliza .saw her dread-
ed enemy approach within a few feet of her
defenceless husband, and deliberately aiming
at his knee, indeed almost pressing the muz-
zle of the pistol to the joint, pulled the trigger.
The ball seemed to have maimed the horse
as well as the rider, for both tumbled on the
street, and became entangled, until the plung-
ing animal rolled over Sir William, apparently
crushing him to death. Then came a shout
more deafening than any that had preceded it ;
her failing eyes beheld a body of routed horse
driven past the door of the house by a throng
262 THE CROPPY.
of half-naked men ; they galloped over the
prostrate Sir William ; they made a momentary
stand ; they discharged their carbines ; the in-
surgents closed with them ; heaps of dead
bodies, men and horses, arose above her hus-
band and his steed ; the discomfited dragoons
a^ain fled ; the charging pikemen yelled and
raced after them ; Eliza gave a faint cry ; the
rush, and the shout, and the explosion faded
from her sense ; and she fell into Kitty Delou-
The insurgents drove the main force of the
garrison out of the town of Ross. Over the
wooden-bridge that spans its broad river, horse,
foot, and artillery rushed together, and ascend-
ing the hill at the opposite side, were lost to
view. The long, winding street leading from
the gateway where the attack had begun,
was strewed with slain, ten insurgents for one
of the King''s troops, making up the number of
the slaughtered. Upon the height, over the
town, springs a little stream of limpid water,
falling in transparent spouts, at different in-
tervals, from basin to basin, until it reaches the
lower streets ; and this constantly running
streamlet was discoloured with blood. Yet
were the insurgents victors ; or at least, it was
THE CROPPY. 969
only needful for them to act upon the advan-
tages already gained, in order really to command
that name. The handful of infantry, and the
few cannon which yet remained, rather out of
necessity than as opponents, in the market-
house, presented an easy conquest.
But the undisciplined and riotous mob, bel-
lowing amid the carnage of their companions,
broke into the houses, seized upon whatever li-
quor they could find, and in the fever of in-
toxication, forgot that they were yet exposed to
a reverse of fortune.
An inhabitant of the town followed the re-
treating army, and informed its officers that
their ferocious foes had already become changed
into a powerless rabble. The officers returned
to the height commanding the town to recon-
noitre. They saw the flames of burning houses
ascending at different points, but the flag of
England yet fluttered over the barracks ; and
instead of the ferocious shout of wild carnage,
the less frequent scream of drunkenness arose
from the principal streets. At intervals, too,
the discharge of artillery and musketry from
the market-house, directed against some faint
and reeling attack, told that Ross might yet be
264 THE CROPPY.
The defeated force rallied. The militia regi-
ment, whose Colonel had been killed by the re-
vengeful stripling, thirsted for a renewed en-
gagement ; their spirit became diffused through
every bosom ; all descended towards the river ;
and horses, men, and cannon once more thun-
dered over the wooden-bridge.
The conquerors were dispersed in all the con-
fusion and riot of inebriety. As the drums
beat, and the trumpets blew, and the rolling
volleys again made havoc among them, some
hastily snatched their arms ; but numbers, un-
able to make the slightest opposition, fell easy
and merited victims to the thrusting bayonet,
the dragoon's sabre, or the trampling hoofs of his
horse. Separate bands encountered detachments
of the soldiers at every corner of the streets,
and in every alley ; and amid sudden shouts,
and rush, and encounter, the contention was as
desultory as it was bloody.
In a shoi't time, all of the insurgents who
could wield a weapon, forced their way to the
end of the street, down which they had driven
their opponents in the morning. Two squares
of the market-house commanded them in this si-
tuation ; additional cannon rattled to its arches ;
and from beneath the shivering building volleys
THE CROPPY. ^65
of grape-shot still made roads through their di-
minished throngs, while upon all sides combined
discharges of musketry told with almost equal
effect. Wherever, in the pauses between the
explosions, horsemen charged through the open-
ings thus cleared in the insurgent mass, the
despairing men still evinced, however danger-
ous, courage, driving their assaulters pell-mell
back upon the infantry and artillery, and fol-
lowing, while they dealt death around, to the
very mouths of the guns, whence they were
blown piecemeal along the streets, until the heap-
ed dead made farther approach to the market-
house difficult. Those who bore fire-arms
loaded and fired while they retained a charge of
powder and ball, and then handing their pieces
to their women, received pikes in return, and
sought desperately to continue the contest. But
unable to come to close quarters, and after
having stood repeated discharges of cannon, and
of every kind of lesser engine, they at length
retreated up the ascending street, with a celerity
too rapid for regular pursuit, leaving nearly a-
third of their body dead behind them, and thus
abandoning the conquest they had sacrificed so
much to achieve.
VOL. III. N
Many were the scenes of terror in the streets
of Ross after the departure of the furious foe ;
but of all such, two principally concern the
Upon the spot where Eliza had seen her hus-
band fall, buried beneath his own plunging horse
and a pile of slain, appeared a woman and a
man, both busily employed in turning over the
'' Here the young rascal lies !"" said the man,
in a ruffianly tone ; " bud we must get him
from undher the horse."
" Is he dead ?" asked the woman solemnly.
" The best o' the two is dead," she was an-
swered ; " the good horse is kilt outright, bud
there 's a gasp in him yet."
" Whoever you are," Sir William Judkin
feebly cried, " you torture me ; — hold ! hold !"
as they endeavoured to free him of the stiffened
animal whose carcass lay across his thigh — " my
arm is broken, and this limb is shattered."
" Hah !" said the woman, as if communing
with herself — " gay and sonorous accents (.f
days gone by ; is it to this ye are changed ?*'
then addressing Sir Wilham — " Do you kno\T
me ?" she asked.
" Touch me not, fiend !" he screamed
" At last you are mine !" she resumed ; ''yes,
mine ; in my power, at my mercy, to deal with
you as I like : this is no place or time for our
last converse, — but there is a silent and a fit
spot where we shall speak together, where none
shall break in upon our dialogue, where no
sound shall interrupt our words, and yet where
we shall come to a reckoning before meet wit-
nesses. Raise him," she said, addressing Bill
Nale ; "is your comrade at hand to assist you .^^
" No, by the living farmer ! God be wid
you, poor Sam ! one o' the greatest mistakes
o' this day, however it come to pass, was to let
the hemp that was growin"* for you wait for a
betther man, — ^bud no matther ; there 's one 'ill
help me at the corner o' the next sthreet, instid
268 THE CROPPY.
o' him ; one that, since he hard tell o' the thricks
o' this youth, 'ud lend him any helpin' hand we
" You mean John Delouchery ?"
" Or a body very much like him."
" Come then," and she assisted with her own
hands in bearing the now insensible Sir William
to the spot where Shawn-a-Gow waited for
them ; and then all gained the height above the
town with their nearly lifeless burden, entered
the church-yard, and descended to the drip-
ping vaults beneath the ruined monastery.
" Lay him here," said the woman — " here,
amid the reliques of the dead and gone, let him
commune in solitude with these rattling bones ;
at the proper time ye know whither he is to be
conveyed ; meanwhile, I have something to do,"
and again she bent her steps towards the lower
As she strode through the streets leading from
Three-bullet-gate to the market-house, a num-
ber of yeoman-cavalry were galloping down its
steep descent, after a last discomfited charge
upon the retreating insurgents. The men,
many of them wounded, appeared in much dis-
order, and their officers'* voices were heard high
in reproach. The woman paused an instant,
THE CROPPY. 269
glanced observantly and eagerly from one to
another of the officers, and then darted like an
arrow through the horses, and seized Captain
" Will you save Eliza Hartley from destruc-
tion ?'* she asked, looking up into his haggard
" How ? where — what do you mean ?"
" Look I" she answered, pointing to Mr.
Jennings house, which was in flames ; *' they
have left her in it alone — Shawn-a-Gow forced
off his daughter from the door — all fled for
safety, and she was forgotten : you must brave
fire and smoke to save her — you may perish
with her, but there is sl chance yet — a slight
one — and you, and only you will take that
chance for Eliza Hartley's sake!"
*' Two of you follow me," said Talbot,
speaking to the men by his side ; and he spur-
red over the dead and wounded, staining the
fetlocks of his horse with blood. The woman
quickened her pace to keep him in view.
Flames were bursting through the lower win-
dows, and through the door of Mr. Jenning's
house, throwing a glare even into the broad
day ; the crackle of wood within told the
farther progress of the fierce element, and
270 THE CROPPY.
smoke which rushed from the shivering windows
of the first story, warned the spectators that
through them also it would soon shoot forth.
At the garret-window, built upon the unpa-
rapeted roof, stood Eliza Hartley, indistinctly
seen, even in her high situation, amid the curl-
ing smoke. Her piercing shrieks sounded the
agony of her despair ; the prospect of a shock-
ing death, distinctly beheld in its terrible ad-
vances, inspired even her wretched heart with
the instinct for life. There was no time for
deliberation. Talbot, aided by his daring com-
panions, quickly disencumbered himself of his
accoutrements, jacket and boots, and then stood
upon his saddle, under one of the windows of
the first story, endeavouring to balance his
agitated limbs for a bound. The female held
the bridle of his trembling steed, and covered
his eyes with the adventurer's jacket, that he
might not see the rushing flames which now
almost enveloped him. After a few seconds,
Talbot stood firmly on the animal's back, his
eyes fixed on the window-stool. He couched
himself, darted upward, grasped his object,
stood upon it ; his scorched and terrified horse
broke away, and galloped down the street.
An instant he paused for breath, perhaps for
THE CROPPY. 271
resolution, as he looked into the room within ;
then he dashed through the window, whic.i was
sliut down, shattering its frame and remaining
glass, disappeared, and, simultaneously, a red
column burst out from the opening thus made.
Thase below looked on in breathless silence.
They were startled by a crash, evidently caused
by the falling in of the floor of the apartment
he had just entered.
^' Lost together !'* exclaimed the woman who
had urged him to this desperate attempt. The
men of his corps, and a crowd of other persons,
groaned an assent to her words. But looking
up to the garret where Eliza had first appeared,
as her renewed shrieks challenged their atten-
tion, tliey saw his blackened figure supporting
what seemed now to be the hfeless body of
our heroine, for her head drooped over his
slioulder, and her arms swung without voluntary
action. He spoke, he roared, but little more
than the movement of his lips and the working
of his features could be caught amid the over-
mastering roar of the flames. He waved his
disengaged arm violently, but the yeomen did
not understand his gestures. The female, how-
ever, seemed to have done so, for she disap-
peared from amongst them.
272 THE CROFPy.
Flashes began to quiver in the room at the
backs of Talbot and Eliza, and accumulating
volumes of smoke almost hid them from view.
The men, in loud and afflicted accents, antici-
pated every instant the falling in of the second
and only remaining floor of the house. They
shouted loud, but as much in despair as in
applause, when they saw him, still clasping
Eliza, issue from the window, and stand on the
slates at its edge, while one hand clung to its
pointed top. Some had run for a ladder, as the
only means of rescue that occurred to them ;
others screamed for those to return with it.
Five minutes more, and they 're gone !" said
one of the yeomen — " but look there — see the
woman coming out through the skylight on the
next roof ! an' she 's making way to them ! —
that 's brave, that 's brave !"
'* She's a fearless woman," said another —
" I 'd face the Croppies' pikes once again, sooner
than venture along them slates.""
The roof of the adjoining house had not in-
deed, any more than Mr. Jenning's, a protecting
parapet ; yet along its smooth slope the female
continued to direct her course. A rope, secured
or held tight by some persons within the sky-
light, was passed round her body, and she held
THE CROPPY. 273
in her hand some sharp-edged instrument,
with which she broke away the slates to make
resting-places for her feet previous to each step
She gained the spot where the swarth figure
of Talbot yet remained, barely visible. The
hushed spectators saw her admonish him by
gestures to hold her skirts with the hand that
clung to the last window-top of the nearly con-
sumed house. Thick clouds of smoke wrapped
both. When for an instant it was wafted aside,
she and he appeared half-way across the ad-
jacent roof, the woman leading, propped upon
her sharp instrument, at every cautious and
lengthened step ; Talbot, as she had exhorted
him to do, guiding himself by touching her gar-
ments, while the senseless Eliza still rested on
his right shoulder; and it was evident that ju-
dicious hands within gradually drew the rope
tight, as the female, to whose body it attached,
came near and nearer to them, so as to afford
her additional support and confidence on her
perilous return to the open skylight.
Those below, silent and aghast, thrilled to see
her and Talbot's progress over the shelving and
slippery surface, from which one false step had
hurled all to certain death. Their feelings un-
274} THE CROPPY.
derwent strong excitement between joy at the
escape from the flames, fear of the peril yet un-
passed, and admiration of the courage and pre-
sence of mind of Talbot and his ally. Some-
times loose slates feel into the street, and they
were ready to cry out in terror and lamenta-
tion, but still the bold adventurers appeared
safe, and still the crowd was silent. In a few
seconds all suspense ended. The woman gained
the opening in the roof, disappeared through it,
reached out her arms to relieve Talbot of his
burden, received the unconscious Ehza, and
then Talbot plunged after both, and the breath-
less pause below w^as broken by a heart-stirring
They were shortly in the lower part of the
house, which already had begun to catch fire.
" You have shown yourself a brave and a
bold man," said the woman, addressing her
companion, while he staggered and stared around
him, now but half conscious of what had oc-
" Heavenly Powers ! is she safe ? have we
indeed snatched her from the dreadful flames ?
-T-where are we ? — how came I here ? — is she
saved ? — where is she ?"
*' In your arms," said the female.
THE CROPPY. ^iO
With a faint cry of joy he bent his eyes on
Eliza's pallid face.
" Fear not," resumed his companion, as she
saw him start, "'tis but a swoon."
He dropped on his knees. '' Almighty Pro-
vidence ! the thanks and the praise to Thee !
Thy hand alone could have guided us!" He
drooped his head over his mistress's bosom, and
When Ehza regained imperfect sense, she
became half aware that she sat in a carriage
supported by a woman, but b]? whom she did
not raise her head nor open her lips to ask.
The different horrors she had that day experi-
enced, vaguely blended together in her mind,
kept her stunned and silent. The vehicle pro-
ceeded towards its destination, and she would
not even inquire whither it bore her, for in
truth she cared not whither. It reached, with-
out her observation, the house, near to Dun-
brody, from which, by Nanny's agency, sh-e had
so lately escaped. She was helped out of it,
and accompanied by her fellow-traveller, and
guided by Mrs. Nelly, and bowed to by Robert
as she went along, gained her former chamber,
still unconscious of her situation. A bed ap-
p eared before her and she s?ink on it.
276 THE CROPPY.
Mrs. Nelly's obsequious lamentations filled her
ears, and gradually produced recollection. She
raised herself, looked around, recognized the
kneeling attendant, and in the person of the
woman by her side, the bearer of the first letter
from her father, and with a shriek she swooned
After this, her mind had dim glimpses of
alternate consciousness and insensibility ; and
when at length, in consequence of generous
restoratives, she could take a renewed and
steady glance around, the shades of evening
were in her chamber, and surrounded by them,
where they deepened under a fold of the bed-
furniture, sat the strange woman, silent and
motionless, the hood of her dark cloak drawn
over her features. Mrs. Nelly was no longer
" Impostor ! deceitful creature ! leave me !"
were the first words which, in a return of sick-
ening sensations, Eliza uttered.
'' How am I an impostor r''^ asked the female
in her former controlled voice.
" How ! knew you not the pretended letter
you brought me was a forgery .?"
'' I knew, and I know, it was 7iot a forgery P"*
"And knew you not that my father,— oh
THE CROPPY. 277
merciful Heaven! leave me, — I can speak no
farther with you."
" You must speak farther with me. I guess
what you would utter. You would tell me,
that upon the night of your escape from the
inn, I conducted you to another impostor, and
not to your father."
Eliza, hiding her face, only groaned her
" And still you would err in telling me so.
Upon that Httle bridge, your father indeed met
you ; and here, in this house, this night, he will
himself confirm my story V
" Gracious God ! can I beHeve you ? why
should you deceive me again ? What do you
mean ? — my father alive, coming hither to-night !
how can that be ? oh, how, indeed !— cruel,
torturing: woman ! is not the fact of his death
well known to the world, since that very night.?''
*' Well, believed by the world; yet he lives.
A friendly hand, allowing his enemies to deem
him led to his fate, saved her father for Eliza
*' Ay ! so your letter said — but how saved
" In order to be left uncontrolled arbiter of
his life or death — indeed, almost to cause him-
278 THE CROPPy.
self to be appointed Sir Thomas''s executioner —
that friend assumed the utmost appearance of
party zeal and bigotry against your father, ex-
cluded his witnesses, denied yourself access to
his dungeon, was accordingly appointed super-
intendent of the execution, and thus, with the
assistance of one trusty follower, another con-
demned rebel, in the depth of night, and while
the guards stood at a distance, mounted tlie
ladder of the gallows upon which your parent
was doomed to suffer, and upon which, as you
say, it is believed, he has suffered."
At parts of this statement Eliza started re-
peatedly ; and when it was ended — " What r
she cried, in a tone of bitter mockery, " ex-
cluded witnesses — denied me access ! who ? who
did this ? who dare you assert did it ?"*'
" Dare ? Use no such words to me. Henry
Talbot was that friend."
" Wretch ! false wretch !" laughed Eliza —
" I guessed your hero. Ay, this is following
up the insidious views of your forged letter,
heaping lie upon lie !"
" Peace !" in turn cried her companion,
rising, and using a tone different from her for-
mer subdued one, at which Eliza again started :
" Peace, I say I and have a care how you insult
THE CROPPY. 279
me, Eliza Hartley : look better at me, first :"
she dropped her cloak, and appeared in a gown
of black silk, deeply edged and flounced with
crape ; her face was emaciated and pale as
death, and her black locks, uncurled, and in-
deed wholly undressed, hung thickly by each
cheek — '* Do you not remember me, Eliza ?'*'
she continued, advancing to the bed, stooping
over Eliza, till their eyes met, and now speak-
ing in a cadence of heart-broken and despairing
Eliza half-breathed the name of which the
faded and altered features only doubtfully re-
" Yes," said Belinda St. John, " you look
upon all that suffering and passion have left of
your schoolfellow. And may I not take this
innocent hand, and while in my own name I re-
assure you that your father lives, still hold it in
friendship ? 'twould be a balm."
Eliza, overpowered, as well by thick-coming
convictions, as by the sight of the miserable
being before her, answered by clasping both the
hands of her former bosom-friend, and bursting
" I am glad of that, Eliza ; I am glad to see
you weep, it will do you good ; I wish I could
^0 THE CROPPy.
shed tears, too ; but they have not flowed since
last I saw you. But no, I would not weep, if
I could. It might soften my heart from its
purpose. And I have that to do, and soon,
which was never done with a weeping eye. The
heart must be stern and stony, the eye must
be dry and hot, else would the hand fail.*"
** Belinda ! — oh, my poor Belinda !" — Eliza
was again obliged to pause, giving way to a
fresh burst : after some time she resumed, —
" I cannot say, Belinda, whether your words
surprise, or delight, or terrify me most ; yes,
now I believe that my beloved father can again
be clasped to my heart ; but — " and she stop-
ped, shuddered, and spoke faintly — " but, if
so, I must believe the whole of that terrible
" Yes; when I am here to vouch it also —
did not your father promise you should receive
a confirmation from my own lips ?"
" Yes— no — he only said — "
" That Judkin's victim would visit you ; 1
am that most wretched, most wronged, and yet
unavenged woman !"
" And you and he had met before your com-
ing to my father's house ?'' groaned Eliza, hid-
ing her face.
THE CROPFY. 281
" Yes : it was of him I spoke to you in
your father^s house. Yes; long before that
we had met, although then he had not inflicted
the last injury. And it was to place myself in
his way I came to Hartley Court, and remain-
ed in it, and, at the dead hour of night, often
left it to wander about his mansion, hoping to
meet him by chance ; for I feared that, hear-
ing of my visit to you, he but feigned absence
from home, and in this manner I expected to
confront and confound him. But I truly as-
certained that he was in Waterford, on busi-
ness ; and upon the very night when I received
my intelligence, thither I went, and — you have
read your father's letter — we met at last.
" Eliza, by the written communication solicit-
ing advice upon the waving state of your heart,
I at first learned the treachery of our common
deceiver ; and I will own that, while brooding
over it, without attempting to answer it, my
blood boiled against you, and my passion urged
some dreadful punishment for the siren who
had robbed me of happiness — of hope. Yet do
not now shrink from me. It was but the dark
impulse of a moment, soon forgotten in recol-
lections of your unconsciousness of injury, and
of our early and sweet friendship — nay, in pity
282 THE CROPPY.
for you, left at the mercy of a man so merciless.
And believe me, Eliza Hartley, that, through
all I have since suffered and done, the sense of
my own maddening injuries scarce weighed
with me more than did an ardent desire for
your preservation. Let that truth become
fixed in your mind — in your heart. I strongly
\vish you to feel convinced of the service I have
rendered you. This is the last time we can
ever converse together ; the hour is at hand
which may end my life, while it rights my
wrongs — I do not think I can outlive it — I do
not think I ought; and I hope to part from
5-0U as friends should part. For after all it is a
wretclied, a desolate fate to plunge into the
grave without one eye left behind to shed a
tear upon its eternal cover. Tell me, therefore,
in your gentle voice, and press my hand wliile
you tell it, that when looking down upon my
wreck 3^ou will compassionate, and feel grateful
to, the hopeless Belinda St. John — to her, who
in working out her own dread doom, saved her
friend from despair and pollution.""
Eliza, again deeply affected, replied to this
appeal in such a manner as gave evident relief
to the unhappy woman. " And oh ! Belinda,"
she continued — " why was I not made ac-
THE CROPPY. 283
quainted with the name of your undoer at the
time, when, in consequence of such information,
the greater portion of what we have both since
suffered might have been prevented ?"
" You mean, when I saw you at Hartley
Court ? I will candidly answer your question.
Fallacious hope and ray strong pride suggested
that, although diverted from his former views by
passing admiration of your sparkling charms,
he might still be won back by endearment, or
else by determined remonstrance, at least to do
me the poor justice I claimed at his hands — in
fact, to become my protector — my husband —
the — the" — Belinda's voice sank into a grating
hollo'.vness — " the legal father of my unborn in-
fant. And calculating upon this result, I felt
the necessity, for all our sakes, of avoiding to
expose him, to humihate myself, and to sow dis-
cord between Eliza Hartley and her earliest
friend. For even you, Eliza, ought not to have
been made capable of recognizing, in the hus-
band of Belinda St. John, the man who, to your
smiles, sacrificed — no matter for how short an
interval of forge tfuln ess, her smiles and her sole
earthly views of felicity ; or, supposing you put
in possession of the fact, and supposing him re-
turned to his feelings for me, it would thence-
284 THE CROPPY.
forward be impossible that you and I could
ever meet, even as common acquaintances. No ;
pride and prudence equally ensured my silence
at the time you speak of; and 1 went to the
utmost limit of the lengths I should have gone,
in vaguely alluding to my recent disappoint-
ments, and in repeatedly warning you to remain
faithful to the first inclinations of your heart.
And now, Eliza, I must in turn say, that if you
had but profited by my warning, then indeed
much had been spared to us both ; much to
your father, and much to the most deserving
person whom— before your meeting with the
murderer of my mother and my baby — you in-
directly led to reckon upon your favour, and
with whom you, my friend, may yet be happy;
while for me there is not a hope on earth but —
first — quick and fierce revenge — and then the
repose of the long sleep."
In these last words there was much to startle
Eliza from her hitherto single and entire reli-
ance upon all Belinda's assertions. The notion
of regarding Talbot in a favourable light had
never possessed her, even while she irresistibly
yielded full credit to her gloomy visitor, and
although could she have paused to reason, con-
clusions of his honesty and worthiness ought
THE CROPPY. 285
to have gone hand-in-hand with that trusting
state of mind. Now it suddenly occurred as
strange and questionable that Belinda should so
positively become his advocate ; and the rapid
doubt soon assumed a more distinct shape —
" What! could he and Belinda be in league to-
gether.'^ he, to secure his views on Eliza — she yet
to secure the homage of Sir William Judkin ? —
could the excited passions of both have led them
to combine in a story of Sir William's baseness,
which, if credited by her, might, assisted by
those favourable representations of Talbot, en-
sure their common hopes ?*" And again, while
EHza struck her hands together at the return-
ing prospect, again came the blessed thought
that Sir William was guiltless of the hideous
crimes charged upon him — guiltless of all but
a transfer of his love from a woman whose ve-
hement and wild character, when once known,
it seemed but natural he should dislike. Her
father's death, too ! Could Eliza credit the
wild tale of its having been prevented ? And
he came not ! — night deepened, and he came
not. If free to visit her, as was pretended,
would her anxious parent dally so long .'' Then
what indeed was Sir William's present fate.''
here appeared a discrepancy in Belinda's aroused
286 THE CEOPPy.
feelings towards him, compared with some of
her former assertions.
'* You told me, Belinda," said Eliza, sud-
denly looking up, and fixing her visitor's glance,
— " you told me, upon the night I accom-
panied you to meet my father, that you re-
turned into Enniscorthy to free Sir William
also from prison ?"
" Yes ; and I did free him."
" Why ? if your only present views towards
him are those of vengeance, why need you —
why should you have done so ? He was in
the hands of those who, upon your evidence,
well supported, would have punished him as he
" I know not what means your changed man-
ner, Eliza ; but is it necessary that I should
answer you ? — that I should repeat the nature
of the oath I swore, anew, with my dying mo-
ther, over the disfigured corse of my child ?
Talbot thought as you think, and urged me to
leave him to the laws of the land ; but while I
seemed to comply, I snatched him from their
probable sentence to dispose him for my own
doom and punishment. At the moment of his
deliverance, he again sought to become my
murderer, and breaking from me, and from the
THE cROPrr. 287
lure which I hoped would keep him by my side,
at least for a short distance, avoided the harids
which lay in wait to compel him to my will."
" Have you seen him since, Belinda ?*"
"• I have, and at the moment he was about
to perpetrate another murder, which you would
have lived to weep for; and a second time I
hoped to make him my manacled captive, and
a second time he escaped me,"^
'•' Belinda, all this may be true ; — hear me !
nor be surprised at the first show of a vehe-
mence akin to your own. You say that your
friend has saved my father ; but if so, was it
not from a fate which he first took the basest
or the most unaccountable measures to ensure ?
Had Talbot permitted the witnesses to appear
upon my father's trial — "
" The witnesses !" interrupted Belinda, scof-
fingly ; " if upon that day an angel had come
down to arraign the perjury brought against
your father, his judges might have been moved;
but no other testimony would have moved
them, and this Talbot knew, as indeed any one
of observation must have known ; so that while
his refusal to admit Sir Thomas's servants
had no influence upon the result of the trial,
the ostentatious zeal in which he repulsed
288 THE CROPPY.
them had much influence in inducing the order
which left the execution of his revered friend
in his own hands."
" He knew that Nale was a perjurer — knew
it from the man himself — why not step forward
and declare so ?"
" Spare me, Eliza Hartley, spare an un-
happy woman doomed to ignominy and wretch-
edness in every connexion of life, yet I will still
answer you. In not attempting this, Talbot
was governed by more than one motive. When
he learned, secretly as it had been arranged,
that you were indeed to become the nominal
wife of the blackest-hearted man that ever wore
a beautiful form, your old friend could only
meet the exigency, by acting on Nale's depo-
sitions and Whaley's warrant ; afterwards, it
appeared but a chance that his accusation of my
miserable parent would be effective, and in
that case, Talbot himself becoming an object of
suspicion, your father was really lost to you ;
and, Eliza, respect Talbot for an additional
motive — do so, that is, if you have any feeling
left for Belinda — he was willing to screen, at
my kneeling request, the degraded being to
whom I owe my accurst existence."
Eliza, evincing the natural tenacity with
THE CROPPY. 289
which, while there is a doubt to substitute a
reason, the heart will cling to its long indulged
prepossessions in favour of an esteemed object,
still remained wavering, and the black brow
of Behnda St. John told that she read her
thoughts in her manner.
" Sir William yet lives ?" asked Eliza, spirit-
edly and expressively.
" He does — but neither for you nor for me."
" Saved, then, from his perilous situation in
the streets of Ross .^"
" Ay, carefully saved."
'* Thank God V Eliza briskly arose.
" Hah ! and you indeed doubt the truth of
anything I have told you ?"
"I do!" answered Eliza, carried away by
her sudden energy, never before assumed in
Belinda's presence — *' I do ! — and nothing but
his own admissions, or a repetition of your
charges to his face, and his tacit acquiescence
under them, shall make me discard my doubt.''
" Come, then !" cried Belinda, exhibiting to
excess the impetuosity that in her father's
house had terrified EHza, — " Come then, and
you shall have the proof you demand. I did
not intend to expose you to a scene that must
harrow your weak nature, perhaps kill you — a
VOL. III. o
290 THE CROPPY.
scene, that I alone, of all woman-kind, have
nerve — because I have cause, to encounter. But
I see that to vindicate myself, and ensure your
future quiet — if, as I premised, you survive it —
it is now necessary you should listen, ay, and
look on. Follow me, — dare you follow ?''^
"" Whither would you lead me .?'** demanded
Eliza, impressively but resolutely.
'' Into the presence of William Judkin."
" Swear to that !"
" I swear it by Him who is to judge me for
all I shall do, by all that has been done upon
" Lead the way, then !"*' and in something
like her own frenzy of manner, Eliza trod in the
quick steps of Belinda.
THE CROPPY. 291
A PERSON startled out of sleep, will suddenly
rush to grapple, as it were, with the uncompre-
hended sound that has scared away his slum-
bers, his limbs and body vehemently active,
while his mind is yet incapable of watching
their motions. There are perfectly waking
moments, too, though not often encountered
in life, when, urged by overpowering excite-
ment, we yield to an undefined, wild impulse,
as little understood and un weighed as that of
the half-aroused sleeper, and hurry to grasp at
some vague object, with all the ardour of un-
reasoning desire. And under such an impetus,
Ehza followed what, if she had reasoned, ought
to have appeared to her, the very doubtful
guidance of Belinda St. John. Prompt as was
her action, she could not, indeed, have accounted
292 THE CROPPV.
satisfactorily for it. Her continued doubts did
not really arise from close consideration of the
case before her ; — in fact, she wished to doubt,
rather than doubted ; and perhaps, were her
heart analyzed at the instant, a desperate reso-
lution to attain the certainty which must go
near to destroy her, and not a buoyant hope of
any contrary demonstration, inspired her, as she
hastened to see realised her conductor's promise
of an immediate interview with Sir William
They descended to the hall.
" This lady returns shortly,"*' said Belinda,
in a commanding tone to Mistress Nelly and
Robert, who, notwithstanding their continued
civilities, seemed disposed to refuse egress :
but to this brief explanation, if so it might be
called, they only bowed and curtsied anew,
and allowed both the ladies to pass out in-
Eliza and Belinda gained the avenue, side by
side, walking quickly over the dancing patches
of white light which the moon shed through
the interstices of the trees and of their foliage.
They passed the outward gate, and Belinda
seemed to pace towards the ruins of Dunbrody
Abbey, which, on its gentle elevation, not far
THE CROPPY. 293
distant, was partly silvered by the unclouded
luminary, partly wrapped in impenetrable
shadow, while a vivid inversion of the whole
effect appeared in the broad, smooth water
Suddenly, a chilling fancy seized upon EHza.
The mysterious view of the ruin, the scenery of
its crumbled walls and nameless graves, became
connected with Belinda's wild and dark charac-
ter, and with the thought of probable injury
intended to herself. She had before now sus-
pected her wretched companion to be of un-
sound mind; nay, allowing her claims to sanity,
Ehza did not distinctly infer from their late
conversation, that Behnda, all her uncurbed
passions and vehemence brought into account,
might mean her well ; and just in such a place,
and at such an hour, either madness or ha-
tred might easily and fitly indulge a fearful pa-
roxysm. Arrested by these imaginations, she
abruptly stood still.
" Do you falter in your resolution ?'"* ques-
tioned Belinda, at her side, after having for a
mom.ent attentively regarded her.
" Whither, indeed, would you guide me ?"
Eliza betrayed the alarm she felt.
'' To yonder ruins."
294 THE CROPPT.
" Why ? — Did you not say we were to meet
Sir William Judkin r
'' And there you are to meet him."
" In that frightful place ?"
** Yes — it is the fittest for the interview."
" I will not go with you : I will rather re-
turn to the house I have left, and under its
roof await my doom as best I may."
" It is not now a matter of choice with you,
your accompanying me, or your turning back ;
after what has occurred, your childish, petty
terrors are not to be considered: you must
come with me, Eliza."
** Must ! My God ! for what purpose .?"
" For your own — for the indulgence of a
wish you have yourself expressed : — hasten,
the time presses."
" You would not force me, Belinda ?''
" I would not ; yet mustf if 'tis necessary :
as I have said, I did not intend to expose you
to the scene you are doomed to witness ; but
you defied and dared me, and now I zmll com-
pel you to observe it ; — nay, long, long ago, I
cautioned you against all the consequences of
your indulging a wayward fancy ; but you
laughed at my counsel, and. braved them all,
THE CROPPY. 295
like a self-willed girl, — face one of them now
like a woman."
" Pity me, Belinda — allow me to return to
the house !"
" Pity ? — what is pity ? I, at least, never
found out the quality in my kind, and there-
fore could not acquire it for myself: at all
events, 'tis a weakly feeling, unsuited to the
necessities of this occasion. Come I we are to
be avenged together ! you shall see, or partly
see, the striking of the blow. I will seat you
on a grave, and you and the viewless dead,
if such there be, must answer to God and
man that Belinda kept her oath ; onward and
judge for yourself!" and she put her arm
" Help ! help !" screamed Eliza, breaking
from her, and flying precipitately. But Be-
linda pursued, and soon seized her hand.
" Do not thwart me !'" she cried in a deep
startling tone ; " hitherto, I have dealt mag-
nanimously by you ; your insidious blandish-
ments seduced from me, and made a villain
of the man who was god-like when I first met
him, and my worshipper, as I was his : to
you I owe it that he, for whose lightest
pleasure I would have poured out my heart's-
296 THE CROPPY.
blood, raised his hand against my life, and
killed my baby, while it quickened beneath
my bosom; — to you I owe it that, to-night,
I am motherless, childless, friendless, house-
less — my cheeks withered and hollow, and my
heart a rock ; — to you I owe all this, and
more than this ; and yet, to the present hour,
I have respected our school-girl friendship ;
to the present hour I have curbed the jealous
rage that often boiled to strike you to my
feet ; — with every cause that woman can have for
detestation, I have shown myself your friend :
but vex me no farther, I warn you ; in the
present hour of trial, cross me not ; else I
may forget our young and innocent days —
forget that you are Eliza Hartley !"
" If you mean me kindly," said Eliza,
imploringly, " of what use can my presence
be, in the coming depths of night, in yonder
" If I mean you kindly ? Do you still
doubt me ? See— if I wished to do you evil,
I could do it where we stand — see — I am pre-
pared for all deadly purposes ;" the moon's
beam glittered on a blade which she snatched
from her bosom ; " but no,'^ she put it up,
in a calmer mood, or at least while she spoke
THE CROPPY. 29T'
in a calmer accent; ''this steel is differ-
ently destined — onward, therefore, and fear
She now flung her bony arm, which des-
peration seemed to have nerved to masculine
strength, around Eliza^s shrinking form, and
hurried her along.
Eliza really feared to give farther oppo-
sition; her guide had threatened her in not
very doubtful words ; and so, shuddering and
almost fainting, she allowed Belinda to direct,
almost to originate her motion. The avenue
of Talbot's house entered upon the high road,
and along this they for some distance held
their course. Then they came to a rude
bridge constructed over one of those deep and
abrupt hollows, locally called pils, up which,
at high-water, the tide flows in-land, in a body
so considerable as to float boats of burden,
while at the sea's ebb, its loamy banks inclose
but a shallow rill. They crossed the insecure
bridge, and after some continued progress,
gained the green ascent upon which stood the
lonely and extensive ruins of Dunbrody.
Since their last conversation, to this point, no
word was spoken, and still both remained silent.
Ehza observed that Belinda did not, as she had
298 THE CROPPY.
expected she would have done, strike upward,
so as directly to approach the decayed monas-
tery, but obliquely and partially ascended the lit-
tle elevation, keeping rather near to the water.
After some rapid walking, she stopped suddenly,
and gazed around her, muttering, " Not here !
'tis not quite the hour yet;" and again she
While they had stood still, Eliza sent around
a look of timid inquiry. To her left, and higher
up, were the masses of ruins ; a mitred square
castle in their centre, white in the moonshine,
which also streamed here and there beneath
the pointed arches of the roofless aisles ; and
the broad shade, that at a greater distance pre-
sented only blanks of unbroken darkness, now
allowed the eye to catch through it, indistinct,
projecting forms, or blind recesses, or shapes
still more vague, which sometimes seemed to
move and wave beneath her unsteady glance, as
if the spirits of the ancient masters of the pile
were lurking within the shadowed fragments of
its walls. But it was not in expectation of su-
pernatural vifeitants that Eliza peered into the
mysteries of the old building ; and of such as
she did expect to see, none met her eye.
She looked forth upon the propsect to her
THE CROPPY. 299
right-hand. The moon was reflected in the
still sheet of water beneath the height, and gen-
tle swells, silvered and sparkling, came at inter-
vals to break, scarce with a sound, at its feet.
At one bank, a wooded height very distant,
rose above the river ; at the other, and much
nearer to her, swept down a point of land, round
which the waters curved. Still no human figure
met her view. The soft murmur of the ap-
proaching tide was soothing, not terrific ; and
the whole scene was as beautiful as lonely.
But her conductor hurried her on to a spot
even more lonely.
At the usual full tide, the eminence of Dun-
brody was almost encompassed by water. In
one direction round its base, the pil, before-men-
tioned, became the channel of the intruding
element ; in another, a stretch of flat land lay
under inundation. When the tide ebbed, this
last was a swamp, across which, in former
times, the industrious monks of the monastery
had constructed a causeway, though few traces
of the work appear to have triumphed over
the undermining floods of many generations.
But the high Gothic archway, to which it led, in
an outward wall of the building, yet exists ; and
contiguous to this relique, remote from the main
300 THE CROPPY.
pile, and overlooking the swamp, stood, upon
the night of Eliza Hartley's visit to the spot,
a little solitary ruin, not more than eight
paces in length, and half the number in breadth.
Rudely fashioned swellings of the turf, each
the tenement of the humble dead of the dis-
trict, crowded all around it. And humble,
indeed, must have been the sleepers beneath ;
for no " storied urn,'' or graceful monument
arose to record their former state, and to mock
their unconscious ashes ; not even a rudely-
chiselled stone bore their names. The sole me-
mentos that appeared were time-bleached frag-
ments, taken from the adjacent ruin, and placed
at the head of some Httle mounds, that, by their
recollected peculiarity of shape, the relations of
the last-buried might know whither to convey a
new comer, to mingle his dust with the kin-
dred dust below. Nay, even these rude remem-
brances were very few ; and the numerous and
carelessly-formed graves crowded together in
undulating and mingling confusion.
Within the crumbled walls that stood in the
midst of this heap of dead, the tripping foot kicked
up, at every step, from amongst the fallen stones,
a human relic — so closely had they been piled
over each other. The noisome hemlock, the
THE CROPPy. 301
prickly nettle, and the other tall and rank
weeds that thrive on the cemetery's fat soil,
minMed with the loner o;rass that also flourishes
in its nourishment. Two old ash-trees near at
hand, and some chance-sown black-thorns,
shaded this favourite place of sepulture ; and
alder trees, believed by the Irish peasantry
to be descendants of that upon which the
traitor, Judas Iscariot, hanged himself in despair,
gained, ^vithin and without, a luxuriant growth,
and farther darkened the solitary spot with
their loathsome-smellino; foliacre. One of them,
indeed, once rooted in the end wall farthest
from the entrance, grew in time to such an
unwieldy bulk, as to fall across the space en-
closed by the little ruin, dragging along with
it the stones between which it had insidiously
wrought its fibres ; and there still lay the trunk
of the spoliator, amid the rubbish it had made.
All around the remaining portions of the in-
terior, bushes and creeping brambles ran wild ;
and the ruin-loving ivy, that almost seems de-
signed to exhibit the ever-green of inferior na-
ture in contrast with the decay of man's idle
works, and even with that of his perishable
body, came from the outside over the top of
the unroofed walls, hanging in gay festoons
302 THE CROPPY.
above the mingled relics of human labour and
of human being.
Stumbling amid the various inequalities of the
ground, Belinda St. John and Ehza Hartley en-
tered this little silent place of death and deso-
lation. Often would Eliza have shrunk back,
but her stern guide still controlled her motions.
" Sit down there," said Belinda,-r-'* you
tremble and need rest ;'' and she pointed to the
fallen trunk of the alder-tree.
" Why force me to this frightful spot ?*^ in-
Belinda stood in the centre of the ruin, the
moon shone upon her emaciated and ashy face,
glistened over the coal-black hair that hung
thickly adown her hollow cheeks, and touched
with dimmed radiance the folds of her funeral
dress ; and thus standing, elevated to her full
height, she seemed a figure fitly situated amidst
the wreck around her.
" I have brought — forced you here,"" she
answered, " that you may have your request,
and that I may keep my promise ; for here —
ay, in this very churchyard, — ^}^ou are to meet
him who has played traitor to us both, and whom
you will hear admit as much before the moon
THE CROPPY. 303
She stepped aside as she uttered these words ;
the ray of moonlight she had intercepted flowed
forward and fell in a white shower into the far
corner of the ruin. She started, fixed her eyes
upon it, pointed impressively to it, and re-
" Look there ; that is supernatural ! It lights
up the very spot where rest two of his victims —
my broken-hearted mother and my little mur-
dered innocent. Upon a dark night, my father
paddled a small boat along the river below,
and for cargo he had two corses in their coffins.
Hither he bore them, and rooted among the
stones to make them the only grave the place
would allow. Some days after, as I am told, a
few children playing amongst the graves, saw
the end of a new coffin that had been but par-
tially covered with the rubbish, and they ran
away in terror. But it was even my request
that the coffins should not be hidden deep. I
anticipated this night, when I might be able
to point out the names on the lids. And now
I will prepare for his coming ;"*' and proceeding
to the corner she stooped down, catching the
moonlight upon her back, as she hastily tumbled
away the stones.
" Belinda," said Eliza, addressing her in
304 THE CUOPPY.
feeble accents, while thus occupied, — "' Belinda,
you have solemnly promised more than once,
that this night I should embrace my dear, dear
*' And I promise it again. Had you treated
all my promises and assertions so as to permit
of my leaving you in the house, perhaps by
this time you had been in his arms ; now it
is not unlikely that he will come to seek you
here — but, hark !"
A loud shout from abroad broke the calm
silence of the night ; Belinda sprung up, strode
to the narrow entrance, and clapping her hands
together, gave an answering scream. The daws
startled in the neighbouring ruin were heard
clamorously croaking their alarm at the un-
usual and piercing sound ; and as it echoed
along the water, the stalking heron of the
swamp responded in a harsh cry. Belinda has-
tily returned into the little building.
" 'Tis he !" she whispered.
" Who.? my father.?"
" No, but the man you first wished to meet.
They bear him hither.''
She pointed her finger at the shivering Ehza,
and slowly moving it up and down, continued
to address her.
THE CROPPY. 305
" And now attend — listen with all your soul
before you interrupt us."
Steps and voices were heard approaching —
they came nearer, Belinda drew back into the
shade, and two men entered, bearing the seem-
ingly lifeless body of a third person.
'' Lay him there," said Belinda, speaking
from her concealment, as she motioned towards
the corner in which she had lately been oc-
" He's upon the hand-gallop for a sthrange
counthry, goin** to lave Ireland for a while ;'
said Bill Nale, as he and Shawn-a-Gow rudely
flung down the body into the nook, where it lay
partially in the moonshine.
" Dying, you mean V eagerly questioned Be-
linda of her wretched father, while she pressed
forward, — " why is this ?*'
" None of our fault ; the wounds he got in
the battle done his business : hurry wid him,
or he won't wait for you."
" Leave us together," said Belinda, and her
ruffian parent moved to quit the ruin.
The moment they had began to speak, Shawn-
a-Gow abruptly addressed Eliza by name, and
thrusting a crumpled paper into her hand, while
his eyes glared watchfully towards Nale, said,
306 THE CROPPY.
*' The moonlight is sthrong enough. Miss Hart-
ley, to let you run an eye over id, jest to tell
me what it manes — I can't make out pin-writin'
myself, bud I know my own name when it*s
put down on paper, an' I think I saw id there:
hurry, Miss — I wouldn't ax you, only there's
life an** death in the business."
Thus appealed to, Eliza, notwithstanding
the imminent interest of her own situation,
read sufficient to allow her to answer — " Yes,
your name is written here; and it seems a
letter from some one who expected to find
pikes at your house — take it — " turning away
her head, and once more fixing her eyes on
the corner, where the wounded man still lay
motionless, while Belinda and her father con-
tinued their short dialogue.
" Look at the name at the bottom iv id,"
resumed Shawn, in a deep whisper — " isn't id
the name o' Whaley ?" —
" Yes — leave me."
" An** isn't this name on the cover, William
Nale, Miss .?"
'' It is, it is — pray disturb me no farther."
" I guessed as much," said the smith, talk-
ing to himself. Nale now made way out of the
ruin, and he strode after him.
THE CROPPY". 307
" There, Shawn,'* said his companion, when
they had cleared the heap of graves abroad and
descending towards the wooden bridge that
crossed the pil — '^ there, he 's brought to his
long reckonin' at last."
" So he is," replied Shawn, " an' so it hap-
pens wid all decavers like him, sooner or later —
don't you think so. Bill ?"
" Yes, to be sure, Jack : what the duoul ails
him ?" he added in a mutter, as he increased his
speed down the eminence.
" Stop !" cried Shawn, seizing him by the
shoulder, and standing still himself, he held
Nale at arms length with one hand.
" Are you takin' lave o' your senses. Jack
Delouchery ? don't you know this is no place
for stoppin' when we have to — "
" Don't spake either, only to what I '11 ax
you," interrupted his captor ; " I found this
afther you, on the road, this evenin' — what
" What is id ? — why a letther, to be sure."
Nale knew that the smith could not decypher
writing, and he therefore deemed himself not in
" I see it's a letther — who wrote id .?"
" Who wrote id ? — my poor crature iv a
308 THE CROPPY.
daughther Jack— she wrote id, an' on the head
o' this very business, too."
'* That 's a lie !" thundered the Gow, grasp-
ing him round the neck with both hands. Nale
instantly lost the power of uttering a sound.
Almost instinctively he groped in his bosom.
" It won't do !*" again roared Shawn, detect-
ing this movement ; and then he took away one
of his hands from the ruffian's throat, and made
himself master of the pistol for which Nale had
" I '11 build up your house for you,'' gasped
the half-choaked Nale, in this momentary res-
pite, "ril— "
'• An' you daare to be spakin' !" once more
interrupted his executioner, as he dashed him
against the ground ; and instantly Shawn's knee
was on his breast, his left-hand still grasping his
neck, and his right presenting the pistol. The
smith had pressed the muzzle to Nale's fore-
head, and his finger vibrated on the trigger ;
he checked himself, and withdrew the finger out
of the guard.
" No, you're not desarvin' o' the shot" — he
muttured, turning the weapon in his hand —
" this way 'ill pay you betther :" he raised the
pistol, intending to strike Nale on the head with
THE CROPPY. 309
its heavy butt ; again, however, he controlled
himself, and hurling it far into the water be-
neath — " what am I dhramin' about ?" he re-
sumed, " it ought to be done no way bud this :""
and raising the knee which had already crushed
Nale's breast-bone, while he continued to kneel
on the other, Shawn dragged up his writhing
victim, and placing the back of his neck upon the
tightened joint, a second time used both his
" Tom, my boy, can you see us ?" were the
last words John Delouchery uttered over the
object of his vengeance, while his savage eyes
watched the upturned face. In the morning,
Nale's crippled corse was found, not far from
the pil. The smith might easily have hurled it
into the deep gully which, about the time he
had completed his act, was filled by the tide ;
but it seemed that he scorned to take any
measures to hide what he had done.
We return to the ruin.
For about the space of time occupied by
this scene, Belinda had remained stationary and
silent over Sir William Judkin, and Eliza, not
yet assured that it was the Baronet, sat terrified
and trembhng on the trunk of the alder-tree.
310 THE CROPPY.
Belinda's voice, sounding as if she muttered to
herself, at length reached our heroine's ear.
" Yes, — I had him brought here to kill him,
but not as he now lies at my feet ; not wounded,
fainting, and already half-dead ; I expected to
see him struggle against my uplifted hand, and
he cannot even speak a word to avert the blow."
Her hollow accents, however, seemed to have
recalled Sir "William to some sense of his situa-
tion, for he stirred slightly, and in a feeble,
broken tone, said —
" Where am I ? into what savage hands have
I fallen ? Is there no kind fellow-creature with-
in call r
Ehza knew his voice at once, changed as it
was, and forgetting every thing in a sudden
swell of pity, started up with clasped hands, and
was rushing to his side.
" Back on your peril !" cried Belinda, seizing
her arm, and almost swinging her back — "yet,
no ; take his hand, if you can — 'twill recall my
resolution," she muttered, " take his hand, Eliza
" Eliza Hartley !'' screamed the dying man,
" where is she ?"
'' I am close by you, William," answered Eliza.
THE CROPPY. 311
" And do I touch your innocent hand? do I
look upon your radiant face ?"
A deep " hah !" escaped BeHnda.
" How came we into this place, EHza ? is
not it amongst the dead they have flung my
shattered body ? I think my head rests on a
coffin — yes, and here I am brought to die —
already I feel the pang at my heart: — EHza,
hearken to me— you have escaped a wretch — at
least — " he continued, his mind wavering — " at
least I thought so, though lately she appeared
before me, but I admit it must have been
my fancy — for her head was cleft, ay, and the
deep water rolled over her," EHza dropped his
hand — *'ah ! now I am left alone, now you for-
sake me, Eliza, but had I hved, you would
have proved my saving angel. For your gentle
endearments I would have learned to love
goodness. Belinda made me what I am — her
fiery passion, her evil nature could neither re-
claim nor attach me — "
" Rise, EHza Hartley, or share his fate !"
cried Belinda, stepping into the moon's ray, so
that it fully illuminated her features.
Sir William ceased speaking, his eye glazed,
yet fixed itself on hers, he strove to rise upon
his elbow while they regarded each other, but
312 THE CROPPY.
the attempt failed, only causing a cry of
" Yes," said Belinda, *' you are among the
graves ; yes, your head rests upon a coffin."
" And you !'' he said ; " you rise from the
bottom of the deep river to meet me here !"
"No; I escaped your hand. I live to meet
" Then,"' he gasped, " wretch as I am ! I
will thank a merciful God for that ! — I am not
in reality a murderer !"
" You are, although Belinda St. John lives.
Remember your brother assassin, Brown."
He uttered a piercing cry.
" And turn, if you can, one look upon the
little coffin that supports your head ; your
murderous blows killed its inmate, ere yet the
babe saw the light of day."*'
He endeavoured to obey the command, and
it seemed as if he vaguely comprehended the
name on the lid ; for after gazing some time
upon it, he attempted to join his hands and
raise his eyes, as if he would pray ; then sinking
under the effort, his chest and face came with a
heavy sound against the coffin, and his spread
arms hung at its sides.
" And now you begin to know why you are
THE CROPPy. 313
brought here," continued Behnda; " I swore over
that infant's corse, hand-in-hand with my gasp-
ing mother, who stretches by its side, to kill you
where you lie — see!" She drew out the long
blade that Eliza had before seen in her hand.
" Hold, Belinda ! do not make yourself a
murderess !" shrieked Eliza, flinging herself
once more by Sir William.
" Touch him not, siren ! — brave me not ! Rise
up and hearken to me ! you and he together !"
*' Ah !" Eliza shrieked again, " he cannot
hearken to more ! — He is dead ! — dead since
he fell upon the coffin!"
" Dead ?*" repeated Belinda, — " dead, you
say ?" She knelt, put back his hair, and looked
into his rigid features. " And so he is; dead,
and as lowly laid as his poor victims. He was
a bad and wretched man, Eliza, but beautiful
as Lucifer. I am glad it happens thus. Had
he come before me in all his vigorous strength,
I think I could have kept my oath ; but from
the moment I saw his crushed and wounded
body, and heard his low wailing voice, revenge
left my heart; and when you cried out just now,
I did not draw the steel to strike it through
him, Eliza, but only that he might see proof
of my former purpose. Well, he is gone — he,
VOL. IIT. p
314 THE CROPPY.
whom we both loved ; and he has left one of
us destroyed and avenged, and the other saved
and warned. God be more merciful to him
than we were to each other ! He now stands
for judgment, with you, my little baby, as his
accuser." Belinda went on, laying one hand
on the infant's coffin, while the other passed
round the neck of the corse : " But do not, do
not plead loudly against your wretched father !
Even for my sake, my babe, kneel at his feet, and
hold up your angel hands for him to the Great
Judge. I think he has bribed your advocacy,
after ail ; — Eliza, did he not seem to die praying
over the relics of his child ? and when his arms
fell helplessly down, perhaps" — Belinda's voice
broke and trembled — " perhaps he would have
embraced the innocent clay. Nay, what is this ?
The night-dew, or his tears, upon the lid ? Oh
God ! oh God ! and did he weep for us at last,
my infant .^" The unhappy woman found way
for her own tears — the first shed since her idol
had forsaken her; and pressing tightly the
arm that encircled the dead man's neck, she flung
the other round the coffin, and fell convulsed
Eliza's anguish was also excessive, when it
became checked by some one pronouncing lier
THE CROPPY. 315
name outside the ruin. She sprang up, a
man entered the little doorway, and she sank
into her father's arms.
Recovering from the swoon that succeeded to
her long struggling with terror, at last ended
in joy, she found herself still supported by her
father at the bottom of the eminence of Dun-
'' Yes, yes ! — now I am not left in doubt !"
she cried, gazing into his features — ** and you
are safe from future danger, rny dearest fa-
*' Safe, as my letter promised you."
" And Talbot, then ''
" Is our common deliverer.
Eliza glanced around. Her father, under-
standing her look, resumed —
*' But he presumes nothing upon his services,
and therefore I came to seek him alone."
The good-feeling shown by Talbot, in this
instance, appealed to EKza as much as did the
sense of his extraordinary conduct.
" The wretched Behnda St. John!" she
resumed, pointing towards the little ruin.
'' An aged clergyman, a relation of her un-
happy mother, whom we interested on her ac-
count, followed me to that horrible place and
316 THE CROPPY.
is now at her side ; be tranquil, my Eliza, she
shall be taken care of; — here comes my servant
to attend you to the carriage."
The storm of the insurrection blew away,
but not so its effects. The people saw their
error, and politicians hastened to grasp the ad-
vantages which that error placed under their
hands. Blood continued to be shed some time
after the total discomfiture of the peasant-force,
but at last its flow was allowed to cease, and
in the pause of terror, and with a face of conci-
liation, and a promise of advantages which have
not yet been conceded, the Legislative Union, —
that measure for which disaffection had been
permitted to break out into actual disloyalty,
nay, had often been goaded to the field, — the
Legislative Union between England and Ireland,
About the same time we have to record ano-
ther union, which proved happier than the na-
tional one. In the year 1800, Eliza Hartley
became the bride of Henry Talbot, and not till
then could she tutor her heart to return to her
early affection for her first lover. But even at
twenty years of age she was better qualified
THE CROPPY. 317
than at eighteen she had been to discriminate
between a passion founded on little else than
the personal attractions of its object, and a
more sincere tenderness, bestowed as the re-
ward of gentle virtues, manly honour and cou-
rage, and, after all, a face and figure only se-
cond to the unfortunate Baronet's standard of
Of Belinda, from the night of Sir William's
death, her old schoolfellow never heard. It
was only known, or rather suspected, that the
aged clergyman immediately conveyed her to a
foreign country, where perhaps, in the seclu-
sion of a convent, she learned to triumph at once
over her passions and her sorrows. The mys-
tery of her fate became impenetrable, from the
circumstance of the sudden death of her old
protector on the Continent, during, as was con-
jectured, his return, alone, to his own country.
Shawn-a-Gow fell in one of the unsuccessful
battles afterwards fought by the insurgents.
His daughter Kitty and Timothy Reily be-
came joint proprietors of a snug farm-house on
the estate of Harry Talbot ; and under its roof
both sought to give quiet and peace to the poor
maniac mother, who had witnessed the horrid
death of her darling son.
318 THE CROPPy.
As for Nanny the Knitter, she lived long to
recount to wondering ears her adventures
under the lime-tree and in the chest, and to knit
dozens of pairs of little stockings for five or six
pairs of little feet appertaining to the persons
of as many curly-headed prattlers, all bearing
the name of Talbot. Moreover, the popula-
tion of her county had been thinned during the
insurrection, and a consequent necessity arising
for repairing the v/ant, Nanny became very
brisk, during many subsequent years, in the
service of Hymen.
Father Rourke was hanged upon the bridge
of Wexford ; the weight of his colossal body
having broken the rope, however, before Saun-
ders Smily saw him pending to his heart's
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